Lawyers for Michelle Carter, convicted of involuntary manslaughter after encouraging her boyfriend to kill himself, want their client to remain free as they attempt to appeal her case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
An emergency motion was filed Monday ahead of a 2 p.m. court hearing in Massachusetts, where prosecutors are expected to ask for Carter to begin her 15-month sentence immediately.
“Michelle Carter moves this Court to extend the stay of her sentence in this case pending her anticipated petition for a writ of certiorari to the Supreme Court of the United States,” her lawyers wrote in the filing to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Her lawyers assert that it is almost certain that Carter would have served her sentence “before the U.S. Supreme Court issues it’s decision and provides further guidance.”
“An extended stay would avoid the possibility that Carter may prevail on appeal only after she has already lost her liberty.”
Carter, now 22, was found to have caused Conrad Roy’s death when she told him to get back in his truck as it was filling with toxic gas in July of 2014. Roy was 18 at the time, and Carter was 17.
She was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2017, and the top court in Massachusetts rejected Carter’s appeal last week.
“This case is a tragedy for all of the people impacted by this case,” District Attorney Thomas Quinn III said. “However, as the court found in two separate decisions, her conduct was wanton and reckless, and caused the death of Conrad Roy.”
Carter had sent dozens of text messages to Roy, including, “you keep pushing it off and say you’ll do it but u never do. It’s always gonna be that way if u don’t take action.”
In another message Carter wrote, “I think your parents know you’re in a really bad place. I’m not saying they want you to do it, but I honestly feel like they can except it. They know there’s nothing they can do, they’ve tried helping, everyone’s tried.”
Carter has remained free following her conviction, pending her appeals. Her lawyers state in the motion that she has complied with all the conditions of her release, and that she continues to undergo “extensive” mental health treatment.