Conrad Roy III’s mother gave her first interview about her son’s former girlfriend Michelle Carter, her role in the suicide of her son via text messages, and her conviction, which was handed out Friday.
“I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions ’cause she knew exactly what she was doing,” Lynn Roy told CBS’ Erin Moriarty during Friday’s episode of 48 Hours “She knew exactly what she was doing and what she said.”
“How do you describe what this young woman did?”
— 48 Hours (@48hours) June 16, 2017
Lynn revealed she didn’t believe Carter had a moral compass following the discovery of her involvement with her son’s death.
“I don’t believe she has a conscience,” she said. “The fact that she would say to him, ‘Your family will get over you.’ How is that even — I will never get over him.”
When asked how she would describe what Carter did, Lynn was unable to find the words, saying, “I cannot. Only she can.”
Carter, 20, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a Pennsylvania court on Friday, and now faces up to 20 years in prison.
In a brief statement reportedly made after Friday’s conviction, Roy’s father, Conrad Roy Jr., said his family was pleased with the outcome.
“This has been a very tough time for our family and we’d like to process this verdict that we’re happy with,” he said, according to the New York Times.
The younger Roy was found dead in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014, after poisoning himself with carbon monoxide.
Carter’s former softball coach, Ed McFarland, who has known Carter and her family for a decade, told 48 Hours that the two teenagers were perhaps attracted to each other because they had similar things in common. Carter struggled with an eating disorder, and, at times, both took antidepressants.
“You know, probably the attraction was they both had their issues,” McFarland said. He added that she was the ideal teammate and that sending the text messages to Conrad was unlike her.
“I’ve never seen her do a mean thing,” he said. “I’ve never seen her be mean… Never heard a cross word or … anything of that nature.”
The involuntary manslaughter charge against her came after authorities discovered numerous text messages between her and Conrad before his suicide.
Those messages, as well as calls between the pair, showed that Carter, then 17, encouraged Conrad’s plan to kill himself — even when he was wavering.
In the days before his death, she texted him, “You’re ready and prepared. All you have to do is turn the generator on and you be free and happy. No more pushing it, no more waiting.”
On the day of his death, Roy called Carter from outside the truck. But she told him to get back inside the vehicle, “well-knowing of all of the feelings that he exchanged with her: his ambiguities, his fears, his concerns,” the judge said Friday.
“She did nothing. She did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family,” the judge said of Carter. “Finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction : ‘Get out of the truck.’”
Joseph Cataldo, one of Carter’s lawyers, implied after Friday’s hearing that he will possibly appeal, according to the Times. He said he was “disappointed” in the judge’s decision.
Carter’s sentencing is set for Aug. 3.
“It was a shock. It was an absolute shock,” Lynn told 48 Hours of his death. “Losing a child, I will live with this forever — the pain.”
48 Hours airs Friday (8 p.m. ET) on CBS.
Suicide Prevention: What to Know
Experts say some common warning signs of suicide include discussing a desire to die or feeling anxious or hopeless, like a burden, or trapped or in pain; withdrawing from others; extreme mood swings, including anger and recklessness; and abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping too much or too little).
Many suicides have multiple causes and are not triggered by one event, according to experts, who underline that suicidal crises can be overcome with help. Where mental illness is a factor, it can be treated.
Reaching out to those in need is a simple and effective preventative measure, experts say.
If you or someone you know is showing warning signs of suicide, consider contacting the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK, texting the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or seeking help from a professional.