The mother of Conrad Roy, a young man who committed suicide, is suing Michelle Carter, who encouraged Roy to kill himself.
The mother, Lynn Roy, is demanding $4,224,000 in the wrongful death lawsuit. Carter has already been sentenced to two and half years for the involuntary manslaughter of Roy.
The money should serve as compensation for lost wages Roy would have earned if he had lived. Shortly before his death, he obtained a captain’s license, submitted as evidence of his earning prospects.
In 2014, Carter, 17, and Roy, 18, (both from Massachusetts) were in a long-distance relationship, mostly through texts. Around July that year, Carter encouraged Roy in multiple text messages and phone calls to follow through on his idea to kill himself using carbon monoxide poisoning. Roy suffered from anxiety and depression. Carter also has a history of mental illness.
Carter’s case drew national attention when the texts between her and Roy were released publicly. “I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you’re ready, you just need to do it!” Carter wrote. “You can’t think about it. You just have to do it. You said you were gonna do it. Like I don’t get why you aren’t,” she added in another message.
On July 13, 2014, Roy stopped in a K-Mart parking lot, turned on a generator in his truck and let the carbon monoxide fumes fill the cabin. Then he got scared, exited the truck, and had a phone call with Carter. She told him to “get back in [the truck],” even though she knew it would kill him. He then followed through on his suicide.
According to the court papers, Carter, now 19, allegedly told her friend, Samantha Boardman, about the incident.
“I helped ease him into it and told him it was okay, I was talking to him on the phone when he did it; I could have easily stopped him or called the police but I didn’t,” Carter told her friend.
The judge also wrote that Carter sought to have Roy delete text messages between the two, suggesting she understood the severity of the repercussions. Her fears were apparently highlighted when she texted Boardman: “Sam, [the police] read my messages with him … I’m done. His family will hate me and I can go to jail.”
On Aug. 3, Judge Lawrence Moniz sentenced Carter to 15 months in prison and another 15 months suspended until 2022.
The wrongful death lawsuit seeks financial compensation to establish a memorial for Conrad, not profit financially, according to Eric Goldman, one of Lynn Roy’s lawyers.
“The family would obviously rather have their son back,” Goldman said, according to MassLive. “What the Roys are looking to do is somehow memorialize Conrad.”