A tearful Michelle Carter stood with hands clasped and eyes cast down to hear her fate over the death of Conrad Roy, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in July 2014. At the time, Carter was living in Plainville, Mass.; Roy was found dead about 50 miles away in a parking lot in Fairhaven, Mass., in a truck whose cab was filled with carbon monoxide by a generator.
Now 20, Carter was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison for involuntary manslaughter, but Massachusetts Judge Lawrence Moniz assented to a request by her defense attorneys that she remain free pending her appeal of her conviction.
And this week, Michelle was sentenced to two-and-a-half years probation meaning she will not have to go to prison immediately, and may never spend time behind bars if her state appeals are ruled successful. Moniz granted a defense motion to stay her sentence, meaning she will not have to go to jail until she exhausts her appeals in MA.
The judge called the case, which has garnered worldwide attention, "a tragedy for two families". "How could Michelle Carter react so wrongly and reassured my son to end his life? has she lost all her humanity?", he asked. He said she was struggling with mental health issues - bulimia, anorexia and depression - during the time she urged Roy to kill himself. In one video, he called himself "a minuscule little particle on the face of this earth.no good, trash" and said he would "never be successful, never have a life, never have kids, never learn".
Bozzi said the most "unbelievable" part of Carter's actions was "how she acted after the fact".
Prosecutor Maryclare Flynn called probation "just not reasonable punishment" for Carter's role in Roy's death.
"Michelle Carter exploited my son's weaknesses and used him as a pawn in her own well-being", he added.
"I just don't understand how someone can be free, knowing that she deliberately told him to get back in the auto and she gets to sleep in her own bed tonight", Makenna O'Donnell, Roy's cousin, told ABC's David Muir during "Good Morning America".
"No normal human being who doesn't have problems would tell someone to get back in a truck where it is a toxic environment", O'Donnell said.
"Normally just mere words do not get you convicted", he said.
She also sent Roy a list of various ways he could kill himself.
'I do believe she needs help and I do believe that she needs to take responsibility for her actions.
Martin Healy, chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Bar Association, said Carter sealed her own fate "through the use of her own words", according to The Boston Globe.
"Two families had been torn apart and will be affected by this for years to come", she said. Like I don't get why you aren't'.
Carter has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter and is now on probation while her attorney begins the appeal process. "I just try to watch over him like I know he'd want me to".