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Plainville Student Charged With Manslaughter After Allegedly Encouraging Friend to Commit Suicide

Remembering Conrad Roy Facebook page

A Plainville student has been indicted on a charge of involuntary manslaughter after allegedly encouraging her friend to commit suicide, according to a Thursday statement from the Bristol District Attorney’s Office.

The charge against 18-year-old Michelle Carter, a senior at King Philip Regional High School, is in connection to the death of Conrad Roy, 18, of Fairhaven and Mattapoisett, last July. Police found Roy, a recent Old Rochester Regional High School graduate, dead in his car behind a K-Mart, with evidence leaving authorities to believe he died of suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. Carter is being charged as a youthful offender.

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“Based on the totality of the investigation, it is alleged that Ms. Carter had firsthand knowledge of Roy’s suicidal thoughts,’’ Bristol DA spokesman Gregg Miliote said in the statement. “Instead of attempting to assist him or notify his family or school officials, Ms. Carter is alleged to have strongly influenced his decision to take his own life, encouraged him to commit suicide and guided him in his engagement of activities which led to his death.’’

Court documents state that a string of texts going back to the week before Roy’s death show Carter encouraging Roy to kill himself, at one point telling him to get back in the car when he began having second thoughts, according to the Fairhaven Neighborhood News.

Carter’s attorney, Joseph P. Cataldo, told The Standard Times in New Bedford that he is expecting the court to dismiss the charge. “They’re trying to claim there is manslaughter when they freely admit the boy took his own life. You can’t have it both ways,’’ he said.

A juvenile court judge set Carter’s bail at $2,500 cash and mandated that she have no Internet access unless it’s for school assignments, no access to social media, and no texting with anyone besides her parents. Her pretrial hearing is scheduled for April 17.

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District Attorney Thomas Quinn has recused himself from the case, because he has a familial relationship with the victim’s family, according to Miliote’s statement.

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