Jan. 13 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to hear Michelle Carter’s appeal on First Amendment grounds of her 2017 conviction linking her texting to the suicide of her boyfriend six years ago.
Carter acted with criminal intent when she urged her boyfriend Conrad Roy III, 18, with text messages to “get back in” a truck filled with poisonous fumes to follow through on a plan to kill himself, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled last year, upholding her 2017 conviction for involuntary manslaughter. She argued in the petition to the Supreme Court, that the conviction was based on her words alone, which was a First Amendment violation.
The Supreme Court denied the petition Monday.
“The United States Supreme Court not accepting Michelle Carter’s petition at this time is unfortunate,” Joe Cataldo, one of Carter’s defense attorneys, told CNN Monday. “Clearly, many legal scholars and many in the legal community understand the dangers created by the Massachusetts courts.”
Carter, of Massachusetts, was 17 at the time of Roy’s death and was convicted in Bristol Juvenile Court.
In February, Carter, then 22, began serving her 15-month prison sentence, after the Massachusetts Supreme Court denied an emergency motion for further delay as her attorneys sought to have the case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The lower court cited Carter’s texts to friends in which she said Roy’s death was her fault because she “told him to get back in” the truck after he “got scared” and left the truck as he inhaled carbon monoxide. The judge said during sentencing Carter admitted in texts she didn’t act to help Roy or to notify his mothers or sisters though she knew the truck’s location.