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Texting Suicide

Michelle Carter was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in the texting suicide case

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Updated August 03, 2017 03:00 PM EDT

Watch Michelle Carter's sentencing.

Updated August 03, 2017 03:02 PM EDT

Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz on Thursday sentenced Michelle Carter, 20, to two and a half years for her role in her boyfriend's suicide in 2014.

Carter, then 17, repeatedly encouraged Conrad Roy III to kill himself over hundreds of text messages the pair exchanged before his death three years ago.

Conrad Roy III took his own life by inhaling carbon monoxide in his truck, leaving behind his parents and two sisters.

Moniz admitted he tried striking a balance between Carter's age at the time of Roy's death and the gravity of urging his suicide.

"I have not found that Ms. Carter's age or level of maturity or even her mental illness have any significant impacts on her age," he said. "I am satisfied that she was mindful of the actions for which she now stands convicted. In my deliberations, that has had little weight."

Moniz added that he had consciously secluded himself from the national media attention Carter's case had gained.

"Now I know there has been some significant media coverage of this case," he said. "I assure you I have steadfastly avoided any of that."

Joseph P. Cataldo, Carter's attorney, argued before her sentencing that she would experience a life of remorse over Roy's suicide.

"Ms. Carter will have to live with the consequences of her actions for the rest of her life," he said. "Ms. Carter does regret what happened. "

"I suggest she is not a danger to the public," Cataldo added. "She has had no criminal history whatsoever."

Assistant district attorney Maryclare Flynn, meanwhile, argued that Carter deserved a more severe sentence before the one Moniz eventually rendered.

"To this date, the defendant has not accepted responsibility for Conrad's death," she said. "She has shown no remorse, and in fact, after Conrad's death, quite the opposite."

"[He was] such a promising young man who will never walk the face of this earth again. All she had to do was say, 'Get out of the car. Get out of the truck.'"

Carter's defense argued before Thursday's sentencing that her youth at the time of Conrad Roy III's death meant she deserved a less stern punishment.

The Massachusetts woman's struggles with anorexia, bulimia and depression also became an issue, with her legal representation charging that she had mental issues on par with Conrad Roy III's.

Prosecutors conversely asserted that Carter exceeded basic decency by pressing Conrad Roy III to end his life, citing an extensive record of private communications between the couple.

Updated August 03, 2017 02:44 PM EDT

A 20-year old Massachusetts woman on Thursday did not make a statement before her sentencing of up to 20 years in prison for sending her suicidal boyfriend text messages encouraging him to kill himself.

Michelle Carter did not address the Taunton Trial Court in Taunton, Massachusetts, before Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz rendered a sentence.

Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in June in the death of Conrad Roy III, 18.

Roy poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck in 2014 after he and Carter exchanged hundreds of text messages discussing his possible suicide.

Conrad Roy Jr., who is Conrad Roy III's father, voiced grief over the loss of his son before the sentencing.

"I cannot begin to describe the despair I feel over the loss of my son," he said while reading prepared remarks. "My son was my best friend. I am heartbroken. My family is heartbroken."

Conrad Roy Jr. also derided Carter, who was 17 years old when Conrad Roy III committed suicide, for urging the young man to take his life three years ago.

"Michelle Carter exploited my son's weakness and used him as a pawn in her own well-being," he said. "[Conrad Roy III] had such a bright future."

"How could Michelle Carter behave so viciously and encourage him to end his life? In what world is this behavior okay and acceptable? Where was her humanity?"

Updated August 03, 2017 02:07 PM EDT

Here's the first part of the sentencing hearing.

A 20-year-old Massachusetts woman will be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison Thursday after sending her suicidal boyfriend text messages pressing him to kill himself.

Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in June regarding the death of Conrad Roy III, 18.

Roy poisoned himself by inhaling carbon monoxide in his pickup truck in 2014 after he and Carter exchanged hundreds of text messages discussing his possible suicide.

The couple reportedly met in 2012 before starting a long-distance relationship, and both talked about Roy’s struggles with mental illness and his desire to kill himself.

Carter, who was 17 when Roy died, initially advised him to seek professional help but later seemed more open to his suicide.

“I thought you wanted to do this,” she said in one July 2012 exchange after he texted her that he was “overthinking” the act. “The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it!”

“You can’t keep living this way,” Carter added. “You just need to do it like you did last time and not think about it and just do it babe. You can’t keep doing this every day.”

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