WRENTHAM, Mass. -- A Massachusetts teen accused of encouraging her former boyfriend to commit suicide is now facing involuntary manslaughter charges.
WBZ reports that 18-year-old Michelle Carter was indicted on Feb. 5, 2015 after a lengthy investigation showed that she “strongly influenced” 18-year-old Conrad Roy’s decision to kill himself in July of 2013.
“I just felt like blood drained out of me. I don't believe this,” said Janice Roy, the boy's grandmother, said. “He was having problems with depression for a few years.”
Police alleged that his ex-girlfriend encouraged and guided him until the day he died. Police said they discovered hundreds of texts from Carter after Roy's body was discovered in a pickup in a Fairhaven Kmart parking lot. Roy apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
“His death is my fault," Carter texted a friend. “I was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and I told him to get back in."
Janice Roy said she believed her grandson was manipulated into taking his own life.
“He was in that fragile state, yes. And I think he could have been manipulated not to,” she said.
Conrad Roy’s family said he had just earned his captain's license and was helping the family tugboat business.
“I was so proud of him when he got his captain’s license,” Conrad Roy Sr., the boy's grief-stricken farther, told WBZ. “He was very young.”
Police said Carter was even on the phone as Roy died. She allegedly later texted a friend the grime details.
“He called me and I heard like muffled sounds and some type of motor running....I think he killed himself," the text read.
However, Carter's attorney argued that prosecutors are overreaching.
“She was not even present when he made a decision, a voluntary conscious decision to end his own life,” Joseph Cataldo, Carter’s attorney, argued.
Following Roy’s death, Carter posted several messages on social media about missing him, but family members questioned her show of grief.
“If she really loved him as she said she did, why didn’t she try to persuade him not to,” Janice Roy told WFXT in Boston.
Carter, who is being tried as an adult, could face 20 years in prison if convicted, according to WFXT.
She was released on bail and ordered to stay off social media.