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Teen Girl Whose Texts Urged Suicide Gets 15 Months in Jail

A young woman who as a teenager encouraged her suicidal boyfriend to kill himself in dozens of text messages and told him to “get back in” a truck filled with toxic gas was sentenced Thursday to 15 months in jail for involuntary manslaughter.

Michelle Carter was convicted in June by a judge who said her final instruction to Conrad Roy III caused his death. Carter was 17 when Roy, who was 18, was found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning in July 2014.

Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz gave Carter, now 20, a 2 1/2-year jail sentence but said she had to serve only 15 months of that. He also sentenced her to five years of probation. He granted a defense motion that will keep Carter out of jail until her appeals in state courts are exhausted.

The judge called the case, which has garnered international attention, “a tragedy for two families.”

Carter’s lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, asked the judge to spare her any jail time and instead give her five years of probation and require her to receive mental health counseling. He said she was struggling with mental health issues — bulimia, anorexia and depression — during the time she urged Roy to kill himself.

“Miss Carter will have to live with the consequences of this for the rest of her life,” Cataldo said. “This was a horrible circumstance that she completely regrets.”

Prosecutor Maryclare Flynn called probation “just not reasonable punishment” for Carter’s role in Roy’s death. She asked the judge to send Carter to state prison for seven to 12 years.

Flynn said Carter “undertook a deliberate, well-thought-out campaign” to cause Roy’s death in a “quest for attention” and sympathy from her friends. She said after Roy’s death, Carter put on a charade as “the grieving girlfriend” for Roy’s family and friends, even though she had…

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