Michelle Carter at Bristol County House of Corrections. (Bristol County Sheriff)
by Jon Palmer
UPDATE: The Bristol County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that Michelle Carter will be released early, on January 23.
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Michelle Carter, the young woman convicted of involuntary manslaughter for sending texts encouraging her then-boyfriend to kill himself, will not have her appeal heard by the highest court in the country.
The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear Carter's appeal, meaning her 2017 conviction in Bristol County Juvenile Court remains intact.
In 2014, Carter sent text messages to Conrad Roy, telling him to get back inside his truck as it filled with carbon monoxide. Carter was 17 at the time.
Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn released the following statement regarding the Supreme Court's decision:
“I am very pleased that the US Supreme Court has denied Michelle Carter’s petition for further review of her conviction. This, once again, justifies the decision to charge the defendant with manslaughter based on existing Massachusetts law, which is well-established.
The validity of charging her has been vindicated by numerous judges at every step of the criminal justice process—including twice by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, which voted unanimously to uphold the conviction. The US Supreme Court’s decision today brings closure to the family of Conrad Roy for his tragic death. I hope that the finality of this decision brings some solace to them.
I thank the prosecution team of Maryclare Flynn and Katie Rayburn for their tireless efforts on behalf of our office and the Roy family. I would like to also thank all the investigators, including Fairhaven Police, for their significant efforts in bringing about justice for Conrad Roy and his family. I am very pleased that the legal chapter of this tragic case is finally closed.”
Carter is currently serving her 15-month sentence in the custody of the Bristol County Sheriff's Department after being moved out of the Bristol County House of Correction last summer. She began serving her sentence in February 2019, having been granted a stay as she worked through the appeals process.
The SCOTUS appeal came after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upheld her conviction last February.
Last September, the Massachusetts Parole Board denied Carter's request to be released early from prison.