Conrad Roy III’s parents are speaking out for the first time since the trial of his then-girlfriend Michelle Carter, who urged on his suicide in 2014 and who is now facing up to 20 years in prison after she was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
“I don’t believe she has a conscience,” Lynn Roy says on an episode of CBS’ 48 Hours that airs Friday night. “I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions ‘cause she knew exactly what she was doing and what she said.”
In a brief statement reportedly made after Friday’s conviction, Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Jr., said his family was pleased with the outcome.
“This has been a very tough time for our family and we’d like to process this verdict that we’re happy with,” he said, according to the New York Times.
The younger Roy, who had struggled with anxiety and depression and attempted suicide before, was found dead in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014. He poisoned himself with carbon monoxide.
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Carter was indicted in his death in February 2015 and her six-day trial got underway earlier this month.
The involuntary manslaughter charge against her came after authorities discovered numerous text messages between her and Roy before his suicide.
Those messages, as well as calls between the pair, showed that Carter, then 17 and now 20, encouraged Roy’s plan to kill himself — even when he was wavering.
For example, in the days before his death, she texted him, “You’re ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you [will] be free and happy. No more pushing it, no more waiting.”
On the day of his death, Roy called Carter from outside the truck. But she told him to get back inside the vehicle, “well-knowing of all of the feelings that he [had] exchanged with her: his ambiguities, his fears, his concerns,” the judge said Friday.
“She did nothing. She did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family,” the judge said of Carter. “Finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction [to Roy]: ‘Get out of the truck.’ ”
After Roy’s body was found, Carter texted a friend to confess.
“I could have stopped it,” she wrote. “I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I [expletive] told him to get back in.”
Neither Roy’s family nor Carter’s defense attorneys have returned messages seeking comment. (Prosecutors declined to speak.)
Joseph Cataldo, one of Carter’s lawyers, implied after Friday’s hearing that he will possibly appeal, according to the Times. He said he was “disappointed” in the judge’s decision.
Carter’s sentencing is set for Aug. 3.
“It was a shock. It was an absolute shock,” Roy’s mom tells 48 Hours of his death. “Losing a child, I will live with this forever — the pain.”
48 Hours airs Friday (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.
Suicide Prevention: What to Know
Experts say some common warning signs of suicide include discussing a desire to die or feeling anxious or hopeless, like a burden, or trapped or in pain; withdrawing from others; extreme mood swings, including anger and recklessness; and abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little).
Many suicides have multiple causes and are not triggered by one event, according to experts, who underline that suicidal crises can be overcome with help. Where mental illness is a factor, it can be treated.
Reaching out to those in need is a simple and effective preventative measure, experts say.
If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.