Statement on SJC Ruling in Michelle Carter Case and Next Steps

Bristol County District Attorney’s Office

Thomas M. Quinn III

District Attorney​

Press Release

February 6, 2019

At the bottom of this email is a formal statement from Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III regarding the Supreme Judicial Court’s ruling today, which affirmed the involuntary manslaughter conviction of Michelle Carter.

In response to numerous inquiries about what happens next in the process:  I can inform you all that our next step in this matter is to file a motion to the juvenile court requesting that the stay of sentence be revoked and the jail sentence be imposed. We will be filing our motion with the court in the coming days.


Gregg Miliote

Director of Communications



Statement from District Attorney Quinn:

We are very pleased that the SJC affirmed the conviction of Michelle Carter.

This case is a tragedy for all of the people impacted by this case.

However, as the court found in two separate decisions, her conduct was wanton and reckless, and caused the death of Conrad Roy.  This was clearly established  during the trial through the voluminous text messages sent between several parties in this case.

As the court stated, the defendant herself admitted that she caused the death of Conrad Roy by her own conduct. The court found there was “no doubt in this case that the defendant wantonly or recklessly instructed the victim to kill himself, and that her instructions caused his death.”

The court further found that, “The only verbal conduct punished as involuntary manslaughter has been the wanton or reckless pressuring of a vulnerable person to commit suicide by overpowering that person’s will to live and results in that person’s  death……We are therefore not punishing words alone, (as the defendant claims), but reckless or wanton words causing death.” 

This type of conduct has long been a crime in Massachusetts.