tv 2020 ABC April 8, 2022 9:01pm-11:00pm PDT
hi. i'm a nice kid. i got a nice smile. this is conrad henry roy iii. i've created a monster out of myself. >> two troubled teens looking for the end of their problems, and the sad part of this is the solution they found was conrad's death. like to brighten eeroyiend to take his life? >> in the last week of conrad's life, michelle texted him asking him when he was going to kill himself more than 40 times. >> this case was so bizarre it went national quite quickly. >> the tragic story of michelle
carter and conrad roy, now the subject of a new series on hulu. >> conrad's dead. >> who's conrad? >> michelle also had struggles, suffered from depression. >> how did you wrap your minuted around that is this. >> he was a kid. >> i didn't know how i was going to possibly live another second without my son. >> there's something wrong with me. >> he's telling her that he really wants to die. why isn't she doing anything about it? >> that doesn't make her behavior okay or good, but the question is, is it criminal? >> conrad, i love you so much.
>> i love you, too. >> you're the best boyfriend ever. >> you're the best girlfriend ever. >> it's okay to be scared and it's normal. i mean, you're about to die. >> so, this is basically a story about two teenagers from the south shore of massachusetts. conrad roy was a high school athlete who lived in mattapoisett. a shore town of about 6,000 people right on the coast. >> this is a historic old
whaling port. they even have a lighthouse, built in the 1830's. it's all about being on the water. great place to raise a family. this is where conrad roy grew up. tell me about your nephew growing up. >> he was adorable. he was always -- he's so funny. he was always laughing. he was always involved. >> conrad had this side of him that was very silly and he loved to tease his sisters. they didn't think it was funny. when they were smaller, they would scream and yell, but it was just fun for him. >> athletic? >> oh, yeah. yeah. he played baseball. he loved baseball. >> he was so passionate about it, and he stuck through it even though sometimes he was really, really hard on himself about how he played and everything. conrad loved the red sox. of course, it was boston. you know, patriots, they were always number one. >> i think everyone has described him as being a well-rounded kid, someone who
had a lot of friends, and someone who was very active with his family. >> they call him coco. that's his nickname. he graduated from high school on his way to college, although he is not quite sure what he's going to do with his future. >> he was a smart kid. he was well loved. his grades were good. so good, in fact, that he got a full ride to a state college. he was conrad roy iii. his grandfather and father both worked on tugboats. >> his father's a tugboat captain. his grandfather owns a tugboat business, and it was just always in their blood. >> and did conrad like it? >> yeah. he loved it. he loved being on the water. he went and got his captain's license at the age of 18, which is pretty awesome. >> i do have a lot going for me. like, i just got a job from the boston duck tours to captain their boat.
like, that's a huge accomplishment. to be a captain. >> he wanted to go to school for business to help his father with running the company someday. but at that time, he felt a little unsure about what he wanted to do. he never wanted to fail at anything. >> 50 miles north, about an hour away, lived a young girl, 17-year-old michelle carter. she lived in plainville, massachusetts. >> michelle's got a big smile on her face in her yearbook photos. >> michelle carter was bubbly. high school classmates described her as fun to be around, constantly making you try to laugh. she played softball for years. she had close friends from that team. >> i've known michelle when she was, like, 8, 9 years old. she would play on different
teams that i coached, up until she was about 14 years old. quiet kid, never known her to do a mean thing. would do whatever she could to help you in the process. >> she was a camper and camp counselor and develops friend there is. she was in this business club. she was apparently quite bright. she was an honor roll student. nothing externally to indicate what was going on inside her mind. >> in her class superlatives, she got, "the person most likely to make your day better." that's the type of person she is. >> we know teenagers text a lot, but it seems as though a lot of her relationships and her friendships were based on texting. but i don't know if she was outwardly, like what we would think of as being a popular girl. >> do you remember writing a note where you would kind of pass it on the class and it would be like, do you like me? do you not like me? check the box kind of thing? it's what we do as teens, and that's exactly what they're doing -- do you like me?
>> michelle and conrad actually meet by chance. both of their families were on vacation in the same place. >> and then once they returned to their respective homes, this friendship developed into this kind of intimate friendship and quasi-romance. >> in a true new age relationship, the majority of conrad and michelle's communication was online. they'd met maybe a handful of times or less in real life. so, she was just someone that conrad texted, according to his mother. >> we have seen kids say, this is such an important part of my life, and if i didn't have this it would be really lonely. >> if you're on a sea food diet it doesn't mean you just see food and eat it. i'm funny, right? i got it from a website. 3 >> i figured. lol.
>> they've even got their own song. at least michelle thinks so. >> i love you. listen to your mind by lea michelle, my idol and favorite person ever. ♪ and you looked at me and your eyes filled with tears em ♪ >> that's our song. >> part of being a teenager is feeling things intensely. finding that love interest is just super, super important, so that's always been the case. >> they were intimate with each other over text message because they talked so much about their personal feelings. but were they a traditional boyfriend and girlfriend? it's hard to say. >> but it turns out there was something darker in their texts to each other, something nobody else saw. >> no one truly knows what's going on with me. no one. i feel trapped in my own kin, and nothing will work for me. like, if you only knew what i go through, you'd be amazed i'm
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i'm a nice kid. i got a nice smile. hi, this is conrad henry roy iii, reporting to you about what's going on through my mind, what's going on through my head the last few days. >> conrad roy is busy making a video diary, a diary even his family knows nothing about. >> if i keep talking, it's going to get better. i have created a monster out of myself. the past few years because of my depression -- racing thoughts, suicidal thoughts. >> it is a hard video to watch. i think we see a very troubled
teenager who's obviously going trough a multitude of emotions and issues. >> you just have to accept yourself as an individual. the hardest thing for me is to be comfortable in my own skin. >> the other thing his family doesn't know about, conrad and michelle carter are sending thousands of text messages back and forth. some just what you'd expect to see from teens. >> hello. >> hi. >> hi. >> i got you something. >> what? did you get me a brain? >> it's kind of a long-distance relationship, in a way. >> they lived about an hour apart from each other, but they didn't see each other very often. they only met in person a couple of times that we know of. but they texted back and forth constantly, almost two and a half years. >> conrad was dealing with a lot of insomnia. he had trouble sleeping. his anxiety and depression made
him feel like he was a failure, which he was not. >> he was very, very worried about how people perceived him, and felt very insecure about his social status. >> right. and that's what teens have always been. so, popularity, being noticed, being relevant. they're trying really hard to get other people to notice them. >> i didn't really connect with people in high school, just felt alone. >> in the text messages, he tells her pretty definitively early on that he wants to die and that he's going to do it. >> and there's many recurring themes where he brings that up throughout their texting relationships, that he wants to die and he doesn't see a way to get better. >> i want to recover from this, and i feel like i haven't recovered from it yet. >> he attempted suicide in 2012 by swallowing tylenol. and this was right after he'd gotten out of an inpatient mental health treatment program for severe depression.
>> but he didn't succeed that because he called a friend and told her that he was trying to kill himself, and she called 911. >> within his family, when he did have issues, he got help for it. and he was helped through it and he got through it and he came out on the other side every single time. >> at one point he did try to harm himself. did you know about that? >> mm-hmm. >> how hard was that for the family? >> it was hard, but it was more of a -- kind of like an adolescent cry. it wasn't -- he didn't want to hurt himself. he had everything going for him. >> did you think that he wanted to take his life? >> no. no. i didn't. >> i feel -- what's the word? i feel like i'm differently wired from everyone else. >> i want to die. >> i know you want to and you
research it and everything, but are you actually going to do it? >> yeah, if i can find a way to 100% work. >> he's looking up "hanging" and "poisoning." what's the easiest, fastest, maybe most painless way to kill himself? >> he was looking up things like cyanide, death by cops, and easy ways to find poison. >> conrad even sends michelle images of a rifle and a noose, and she's trying to talk him out of it. >> conrad, stop. you're not going to do it. i know you won't. i don't want you to. >> new yoo, i actually am. >> you have so much to live for. please don't. >> we should be like romeo and jewel yet at the end. >> i'd love to be your jewel yet. >> but do you know what happens to jewel yet? >> oh, yeah. [ bleep ] no we are not dying. >> michelle carter also had her own struggles. she suffered from depression, and she had an eating disorder. was hospitalized even.
>> she also used to cut herself when she was depressed. >> i used to eat a carrot and feel like i'd have to run three miles to burn it off. recently i started to cut. if i was skinny i wouldn't cut or feel bad or hate myself. it all goes back to my weight, so i really need to change, like, soon. >> she would constantly message friends asking for support. she would talk about this with roy as well, this sort of anxiety and insecurity she felt i her own body. >> i'm just having a hard time with food again and losing weight and it makes me really upset. >> i wish you had my problem and i had yours. because we both wouldn't have a problem. >> most of the text messages are talking about what they have in common, their feelings and their struggle. >> i'm never going to be better. i have to accept that. >> you're in a dark tunnel, but it's not going to last forever. you'll find the light some day. >> the entire text relationship for the majority of that two plus years, she's trying to pconvince him to get help, to g
into treatment, to do different things, to be outgoing, to meet more friends. >> you aren't going to get better on your own. you need professional help. like me. people who know how to treat and it fix it. like, i think i'm going to go away to a place for my eating disorder to overcome it and stuff. we'll go together and we can be there for each other. >> it's just between the two of them. she never goes to anyone else to say, let's get conrad help. >> the sooner i like myself, the better i'm going to be. >> there are a lot of reasons that she may not have sought help, but one of them may be that conrad had asked her not to seek it. >> and the only way i'd hate you is if you told people about this. you hear me? >> i'm not going tell anyone because if i did you'd have to go to a hospital and i know that's not something you want. >> this is not something that any one of us can manage, never
mind a 17-year-old girl. >> she's overwhelmed by this caretaker role she has with her boyfriend. she can't handle it. >> and then in the summer of 2014, it's about two years into their relationship, michelle's texts suddenly change completely, in a way that's unimaginable. if. >> if you really want to die you'll make this work tonight. i'm tired of you not taking this seriously. >> i have to do it. i, like, have to. >> you keep saying that but you never do anything. >> when you look at the messages, you see two troubled teens looking for happiness, looking for an end of their problems. >> everyone will be sad for a while but they'll get other it and moe on. >> the sad part of this is, the solution that they found was conrad's death. et married, on the best day of her life. but colon cancer took him from us, like it's taken so many others. that's why i've made it my mission to talk about getting screened
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texting michelle about his suicidal kind of feelings. his family sees no sign of that. >> so, are you still going to do it? >> yeah. i have to at this point. i want to be with jesus. and i'm completely losing my mind. i forgot everything. >> on the morning of july 12th, conrad goes to the beach with his family. people flying kites. his sisters and him go get some ice cream. he goes for a long walk on the beach with his mom. he's talking about maybe joining the family business. he's having a great time with his family, but he does sneak off to the car. he's texting. looking back, he was talking to michelle carter. >> and when he gets home, there is even more texting.
>> are you going do it now? >> i just don't know how to leave them, you know? >> i know. you just have to do it, like you said. are you going to do it now? >> i haven't left yet, haha. >> why? >> at 6:20 p.m. that day, conrad says he's going out and he's going to take the black pickup truck. >> leaving now. >> okay. you can do this. >> his mother asks, will you be home for dinner? and he says he doesn't know, he doesn't think so. >> he says goodbye to his mom, and that's the last time anyone in his family sees him alive. >> i messaged him before i went to bed and just wanted to know what time he would be home. and he didn't answer right away. i woke up maybe 2:00 in the morning and messaged him again. and then i fell back asleep. and then in the morning, his truck wasn't there. i panicked.
i was really concerned that something happened to him. >> she calls his friend tom gammel, another friend of his, asking, have you seen him? do you know where he is? and none of them do. >> you could tell she was worried. and i said, well, you really need to call the authorities and see if they can start searchng for him. >> what kind of truck does he drive? >> ford 250. this is a diesel, big black, and it's got a bunch of stickers in the back window. >> all right, i am going to send an officer out to take a report. >> okay. >> so, when officer correia came to the house, i explained to him conrad's history of depression and anxiety. >> i was hoping that he was off with a friend somewhere and his phone was dead. >> police put out a bolo, "be on the lookout" for conrad. >> a 1-8 to call cars isn't the station. be ready to copy a bolo.
this is for a missing 18-year-old boy. it's going to be stop and check the welfare. male is going to be a conrad roy. >> the fairhaven police officer used this technology to try to triangulate his cellphone signal. so they knew the rough area that his phone was in. this police officer ends up driving around fairhaven just looking down streets and eventually just happens upon this k-mart parking lot. >> i saw, out of the corner of my eye, a black f-250 parked over there. there was the truck, but i didn't know where he was. i had to get out of the car and walk up to the truck before i saw where he was. he was inside the truck, but it was obviously too late. i'd seen enough people that were gone to realize just by looking at him that he was gone. there was nothing that anybody
was going to be able to do for him. >> they call a hazmat team, who eventually clear the car, see the water pump and determine that he did kill himself with carbon monoxide. >> when you run a gasoline powered engine in an enclosed area, the carbon monoxide that's emitted can be deadly. >> i got a call from my ex-husband. he said, it's not good lynn. he said, there's yellow tape around con's truck. and i said, no, there isn't. he said, yeah, there is. i didn't know how i was going to possibly live another second without my son. >> i just grabbed my sister and hugged her as tight as i could, and she -- >> how did you even wrap your mind around that? >> you can't. there's no way. he was a kid. he was ours. he was our kid. >> they find a few important pieces of evidence. they find the water pump.
they also find his cell phone. >> conrad had told michelle he was going to delete all of their texts to each other from his phone. turns out, he never did. >> where was his phone? >> it was in the waistband of his pants, but the phone was dead. >> at home he'd left a note for his family. >> don't feel any guilt. it's all my fault. everyone be happy. work hard for me because that's what i want. and live life to the fullest. i love you. look in my blue notebook for my bank of america and apple laptop password. >> and there was a separate note for michelle. >> we will meet up some day in heaven. our songs, listen to them and remember me. >> and then the family starts receiving these text messages from this young girl, michelle carter. >> you did not fail him, not
even a little bit. i tried your hardest. please stay strong. we are all here for you and your family. >> michelle also began reaching out to conrad's sisters and trying to befriend the family. >> hey, love. please talk to me if you need to. i want to do everything i can to help you and your family through. >> her words comforted me, and they made me feel so much better. >> all the signs were that this was a suicide. >> but once police realize that he's provided the codes to access his phone, they find these text messages. >> and then they start reading. >> hang yourself, jump off a building, stab yourself, ikk. there's a lot of ways. i don't get why you just don't overdose again. are you going to do it tonight? i can't stay up past 12:00, remember.
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in the days after conrad's death, his family is reeling. they are trying to come to grips with how this could have happened. >> we all met up at this beach in mattapoisett. and to see my whole family crumble -- it just didn't seem real. >> they had known that he had suffered from depression and he had taken attempts on his life, but they thought that things were getting better. they were devastated. >> so at that point, you're all thinking he took his life. you don't know why. >> yeah. i was mad at him. i was upset with him for what he did to his mom and his sisters.
>> meanwhile, michelle carter is sending those messages of support to conrad's family. >> i'm so very sorry. conrad meant so much to me, and he was loved by so many. >> what is she saying to your sister? >> i'll be there for you and the girls, and i'll take care of you. >> he was an amazing son because he had such on amazing mother. >> michelle even goes to conrad's memorial service where she sees the family and meets some of his friends. >> michelle carter was showing up at these various times. >> yeah. >> and even asked for part of his ashes? >> yeah. yeah, she wanted to go through his room and take some of his belongings. >> what did you all make of that? >> that's when things started to get a little weird. it was like, hmm. yeah, you don't do that. >> meanwhile, what had seemed to
be an open and shut case of suicide becomes something else once the fairhaven police department get access to his phone. >> there was only one thread on the phone, and that was with a female. there were thousands of text messages between conrad and michelle. >> these messages are beyond dark. they're beyond disturbing. >> i don't get why you don't just overdose again but go somewhere in private. you already know it works. >> she actually begins to almost agree with him. like, okay, so you want to kill yourself? when are you going to do it? how are you going to do it? >> you're really going to do this? >> yeah. >> okay, there's no turning back now. >> she starts saying, you know, you keep saying this, but you never follow through. like, are you serious? like, you should just do it. >> about a week before conrad died, michelle thought that he was going to kill himself using pills, but he didn't, and she was really annoyed that he was
still alive. >> i knew you weren't going to try hard. i feel like such an idiot. >> why? >> because you didn't even do anything and i poured my heart out to you thinking this was going to be the last time i talked to you. i thought you really wanted to die but apparently you don't. i feel just played and stupid. >> michelle was almost bullying conrad into killing himself. >> tonight? >> eventually. >> see, that's what i mean. you keep pushing it off. >> in the last week of conrad's life, michelle texted him, asking him when he was going to kill himself more than 40 times. >> when are you going to do it? >> i'll let you know when. >> well, is it going to be soon? >> whenever he had doubts, she'd diminish them. >> i have a bad feeling this is going to create a lot of depression between my parents, sisters. >> whenever he had guilt about
le leaving his family, she assured him she'd comfort them. >> everyone will be sad for awhile, but they'll get over it and move on. >> and this isn't just a general conversation about how conrad can take his life. no, michelle is helping him with the details. >> carbon monoxide poisoning is the best option. if you fall asleep while your car is running in a garage, it will kill you. and there's no pain. >> they get into the very specifics of how it should happen. >> portable generator, that's it. >> do you have one of those? >> there's one at work. i was thinking of putting it in my car. >> he gets a gas generator, but it malfunctions. >> she was really in a very practical way helping him work through any problem he saw with this plan. >> go to sears. they sell them. they can help. >> instead of going to sears, he goes to a relative's house and
takes a gas-powered water pump. but as was the case in the previous attempts, he seems to waiver. >> i'm scared, babe. >> it's okay to be scared and it's normal. i mean, you're about to die. >> you can hear him crying for help. the shocking, the chilling, the frightening aspect of this is when michelle comes back and says, you have to do this. >> like, why am i so hesitant lately? >> you're so hesitant because you keep overthinking it and pushing it off. you just need to do it conrad. it's time to do it today. >> that evening, conrad seems to be procrastinating, and michelle appears to be pushing. >> are you going to do it now? >> leaving now. >> okay. you can do this. >> five minutes later, conrad fires off another text. >> okay. i'm almost there.
>> that last text message is before he drives to the k-mart parking lot where he turns the water pump on in the cabin of his truck. then he's gone. >> conrad's phone also shows that after that last text, that he and michelle have two phone calls, each lasting more than 40 minutes. >> but unfortunately, through the call logs, we don't get the content of the conversation. we were just wondering if she was there trying to tell him to stop or if she was there trying to tell him to do it. >> so, they don't know what was said, but they know he was talking to her. and he's talking to her right up until he passes. >> to us, it started to feel not like a suicide and more of some sort of manslaughter. but we didn't quite know where the legal line was drawn. >> so, two detectives from
fairhaven contacted me and said, we're going to send over just brief snippets of these text messages. we just want you to look at them. so i said sure. started reading them, and my jaw just dropped. i could not believe what i was reading. and that's the first we heard of michelle carter. that's the first time the name ever came up. >> police decide it's time for them to have a talk with michelle. >> michelle, the reason we came out here is because we were looking into conrad's unfortunate passing. >> we explained to her that we were there to further the investigation into conrad's death. we have a search warrant for your phone, okay? so we'll be taking it. >> wait, so you're taking my phone? >> yes. >> it turns out there are more incriminating messages. >> i was on the phone with him, and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and i [ bleep ] told
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today has been one month since you passed. it was a hard day for all of us. i hope you were looking down with a smile. >> it's been weeks since conrad roy died, and michelle carter is still sending texts to his phone. >> there's this sort of strange element where she sends him these obviously one-sided text messages. >> i can't handle you being gone. i miss you incredibly. it hurts. i love you forever. >> she continues to text him, saying that she misses him and she loves him and that she's so sorry that all of this happened. >> i'm planning your tournament today. i know you'd be proud of me. >> two months after conrad dies, michelle has a fundraiser in her community to raise money for
suicide awareness. >> michelle actually had a facebook posting where she had created this "homers for conrad" page. and then at the actual event itself, she was laughing, happy amongst her friends. >> photos from that event that were posted on social media would later be used in the investigation. by now police believe michelle carter has played a critical role in conrad's death. >> we had an undercover detective at that event. >> the detective is there because investigators want to prove that it is michelle who is texting from her phone, even though it's registered to her mom. >> so, how do we actually prove that michelle carter is on the other end of that phone? we had him call her phone and videotape her as she answered the phone. >> hello? >> so, now we've connected the phone with her as she answers it. >> now armed with that information, police are ready to make their next move. >> two and a half months after
conrad died, detectives go to michelle's high school. they want to talk to her. >> the detectives go there and they approach her and say, michelle, can we talk with you? >> on october 2nd, we're talking to michelle carter at king phillip high school. >> police begin asking her questions about her relationship with conrad roy. >> michelle, the reason why we came out here is because we were looking into conrad's unfortunate passing. we determined a little bit that you probably had a lot of contact with him. >> yeah. >> she lies to them. she does not give the full story. >> do you think you had contact with him that day? >> um, i think so. >> yeah? >> i was talking to him on the phone the night before the 12th, and we were talking and then, like, the phone hung up and i
didn't really think anything of it. >> did you have any contact with conrad the day that he passed? "yeah, i think so." and just the deceptiveness in that. she's not telling the truth. she's saying, i might have. >> i had a feeling like if he didn't get help, then something was going to happen. i was trying to get help for him sooner. i wanted him to go with me. and i should have done something sooner, but by the time, it was just too late. >> we have a search warrant for your phone, okay? so we'll be taking it. >> wait, so, you're taking my phone? >> yes. >> for what reason? >> i'll explain it, we'll explain it all to you. >> when law enforcement takes michelle's phone, they already know the messages between conrad and michelle. the interesting part is the conversations between michelle and her friends about conrad's death. >> they find messages sent to her friend samantha boardman. this one, the day he died. >> sam, he just called many an and there was a loud noise like
a motor, and i heard moaning, like someone was in pain. >> then a week after conrad dies and michelle knows that they're searching through his phone, she then sends this message. >> sam, they read my messages with him. i'm done. his family will hate me and i could go to jail. >> she is intensely aware that police have conrad's phone and that there could be serious consequences for her if they recover his text messages. >> two months after conrad dies, it gets worse, because she sends an even more incriminating message. >> sam, his death is my fault. like, honestly, i could have stopped him. i was on the phone with him and he got out of the car because it was working, and he got scared and i [ bleep ] told him to get back in. >> she appears to be admitting that, yes, i'm responsible. he wasn't necessarily going to do it, and i convinced him to do
it. >> that is the saddest part of this whole story. >> it's this direct sort of admission to a friend that he was outside, he had a chance to live. he was having second thoughts, and she told him to return to the truck as it filled with deadly carbon monoxide. >> i kopt have him live the way he was living anymore. i couldn't do it. i wouldn't let him. i could have stopped him but i [ bleep ] didn't. >> what the police find is pretty horrendous, right? they're like, something is wrong here, but what is it? >> the police station and the fire station was a quarter mile down the road. he would've been saved if she made a call. she knew exactly what she was doing and she knew it was wrong and she still tried to cover it up. >> six months after conrad dies, a grand jury indicts michelle carter for the crime of involuntary manslaughter.
>> prosecutors finally tell conrad's mom and the rest of the family about all those text messages she'd sent to him. >> to actually have to sit in front of her for the first time and tell her, michelle carter, that girl that you thought was his friend, these are the texts. and i had to leave the room and let them read them. this is the girl that was coming to them at the wake and the funeral and completely, completely deceiving them. >> we felt numb. we were in disbelief that someone could want someone else to die. her messaging and her being there for me and telling me i was an amazing mom and how much conrad loved me absolutely is a betrayal to me. >> you were sort of angry with your nephew at first for taking his life, and then suddenly there's a different spin on this. >> yeah. >> what did you start to feel then? >> i started to feel like he was
targeted and he was a victim. >> he was targeted and a victim. >> mm-hmm. >> and then we also had to tell the family, be prepared for media trucks to be at your house when you get home. >> a pretrial hearing today for a plainville teen charged with involuntary manslaughter. >> a lot of people learned about the case once michelle was charged. >> the young woman is now charged with manslaughter after her then boyfriend killed himself. >> the story seemed to have caught everyone's attention, and michelle carter is now an object of revulsion and of fascination. there's even a new hulu limited series about this case. >> i didn't do anything wrong. >> there are text messages, thousands of them. >> we had never heard of a story like that before, a case like that before. >> that trial making national headlines. >> she absolutely knew it was wrong, and she absolutely caused the death of this 18-year-old
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pulling up to the taunton courthouse with my kree. there were cameras everywhere. america seemed to be split -- could words kill? >> your honor, this case is a suicide case. it is not a homicide. the evidence of the testing is overwhelming that conrad roy was on this path to take his own life for years. >> she actually begins to almost agree with him. like, okay, so you want to kill yourself? when are you going to do it? >> this is a story that seemed to captivate the world, and now it's the subject of a hulu limited series. >> but i didn't do anything wrong. >> there are text messages. thank y thousands of them. >> i don't think she helped him kill himself. i think she forced him to kill
himself. >> people see michelle carter as a devious, despicable young woman. >> they shouldn't. she had her own demons she was struggling with. >> he got out because he knew he was being poisoned, and she ordered him back into the gas chamber. he would have been saved if she made a call. >> she has to live the rest of her life in her skin, one of the most hated people in the country. >> she said, you don't want to take your life. she said this for two years. >> until she eventually says, do it. >> from the moment that michelle carter was indicted in 2015, this case has been a lightning rod. >> we going to turn now to a pretty shocking story. a massachusetts teenager facing trial for manslaughter after taunting her boyfriend to commit suicide. >> you just need to do it, conrad. >> prosecutors say she had been
pressuring him to do it via text message and was even talking on the phone with him when he ended his life. >> all you have to do is turn the generator on and you'll be free and happy. no more pushing it off. no more waiting. >> the prosecution making the case that this teen coaxed her boyfriend into killing himself right up until the moment that he took his own life. >> it's time, babe. you know that. >> when the text messages came out, michelle instantly became this villain. >> i think people are dumbfounded. when they see michelle carter, she comes from a nice family. she was a smart girl. she lives in a nice community. and then you just juxtaposed that against those text messages. and it's like, where is this coming from? >> i do want to. but, like, i'm freaking out for my family, i guess. >> conrad, i told you i'll take care of them.
we talked about this. they will be okay and accept it. >> when you began to hear about and read some of those text messages, what went through your mind? >> it's shocking because you don't think a human being is capable. it's just a different caliber of person that i've ever experienced in my life, so it was pretty disturbing. i don't think that she helped him kill himself. i think she forced him to kill himself. >> you think she is the cause of his death? >> yeah. i think if it wasn't for her, he'd still be here. >> conrad's aunt kim and cousin took me to a memorial in the parking lot where he died. >> do you come out here at all very often? >> i do. every chance i get, actually. >> i drive by here a lot, and i like seeing what people leave. and sometimes they'll write little notes.
>> so, you brought flowers today? >> jaden bought these flowers. >> this is a place to visit him. it shouldn't be. in a parking lot. >> how much do you think about conrad? >> every single day. almost every minute. he's always with us. >> this is a truly tragic story of two teens, one of whom is no longer with us and who really should be here today. >> this case is incredibly fascinating, both from a human perspective and from a legal perspective. from a human perspective, the question is, how could someone do this? and as a legal matter, is she responsible for causing his death? >> a lot of people questioned whether this was dangerous to say that words could be something that you would be charged for. >> he specifically said that he wanted to kill himself.
>> so? >> he is responsible for his own death. >> look, she gets the prize for pretty wicked, pretty creepy, but i just don't see -- i don't know how a jury would convict her for this. >> the girl's lawyers claim those messages are a form of protected speech under the first amendment. >> from the beginning, michelle's defense team tried to fight the charges. >> there are some states that have laws on the books that ban assisting in a suicide. massachusetts isn't one of them. with no specific assisted suicide law, prosecutors said, this is involuntary manslaughter. >> just the fact that she was even being considered to be charged with this was groundbreaking. >> a pretrial hearing today for a plainville teen charged with involuntary manslaughter. >> michelle carter's attorney filed motion upon motion trying to get this case dismissed before it even went to trial. >> carter's lawyers want the case dismissed citing a lack of evidence and precedence. >> carter's attorney says she is being punished for her speech. >> he has, in fact, brainwashed her to the point where she's now
accepting his idea of, "this is my only option." >> people see michelle carter as a devious, despicable young woman. >> they shouldn't. she had her own difficulties, her own demons that she was struggling with. >> how would you describe this relationship between these two young people? >> tragic. it was conrad roy laying a lot of his baggage on michelle carter. he consistently bombarded her with his suicidal thinking. she came to realize that conrad was going to kill himself no matter what, and so she felt that she should help him and encourage him to do what he wanted to do. >> sjc 40123. commonwealth v. michelle carter. >> michelle carter's defense team loses their battle to have the case dismissed, so they appeal all the way to the massachusetts supreme judicial court. >> it doesn't matter how reprehensible we might think her
conduct is. it simply isn't a crime, and it was not at the time, and we can't make it a crime retroactively. >> you're saying that encouraging somebody to do something that's not only stupid but potentially deadly is not a crime. >> it's not. >> it went up to the highest point, but they eventually decided that michelle would stand trial for what she did. >> her attorneys have tried twice to have the charges against her dropped, but now they must go to trial. >> so, now it's early june 2017. it's time for trial, and all eyes are on the taunton, massachusetts, courthouse. >> michelle shows up for court, and she looks completely different than anything we've seen. she's much thinner. she's chopped her long hair off. she has these very prominent eyebrows. and she's almost unrecognizable to what she looked like before. >> right off the bat, a big surprise. just as jury selection is about to begin, michelle carter's defense team decides they don't
want a jury trial. >> instead, they're going to allow the judge to make a decision in this case. >> she actually gets in the witness box, michelle does. >> has anyone promised you anything or threatened you in any way to make you forego your right to a jury trial? >> no. >> i think michelle carter's lawyers were worried that a jury might be so angry at those text messages that they wouldn't be able to objectively evaluate the evidence. >> we knew from the beginning, if it was going to be a jury trial or if it was going to be a bench trial with just the judge that we were going to present the case the same way. >> the prosecution will lay out its case. >> she pushed him to kill himself sooner rather than later. >> and they're going to offer a motive for why she might have done this. >> if you really look at it, your honor, she's really desperate for attention. look at me. i lost my boyfriend. >> we know what michelle texted conrad, but the big question
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in providence, rhode island, which covers the michelle carter and conrad roy case. it's hard to describe the feeling in the courtroom today. there's tons of family for conrad roy in the courtroom. michelle carter's family's also in the courtroom. so you feel the tension between both sides. >> what did you make of michelle carter as you watched her walk into the courtroom? >> that she doesn't care. her demeanor, her attitude. like, what am i doing here? >> this trial could go either way, and when you have a judge who's making the decision as to whether acquit or convict, it's going to be difficult to guess how this case will end. >> 17-year-old michelle carter, who for weeks badgered, berated her depressed boyfriend conrad roy, 18,years,old, into killing himself. >> so for the opening statement,
what we did have to do was we obviously had to have a motive and show that would make this girl, who supposedly loved this boy, do what she did? >> the picture that is painted of michelle carter in the opening statement is not a pretty one. >> who would do this and why? i would suggest the evidence will show that the defendant was a very needy person who craved attention, from anyone quite frankly, but she didn't have many close friends. >> you could sense that the prosecution felt very strongly about their argument that she was encouraging conrad so that she could then get sympathy and become the grieving girlfriend. >> the defense's strategy starts off painting conrad as a young man who had issues of his own. and that michelle was miles upon miles away from conrad when he alone took his own life. >> your honor, this case is a suicide case. it is not a homicide. a young man, who has had a long, long history of suicidal
ideation, finally caused -- caused his own death. michelle carter was not present. >> the defense is trying to say, this is very sad and heartbreaking, but you can't possibly hold michelle carter legally and criminally responsible for what conrad did to himself. >> and the evidence of the texting is overwhelming that conrad roy was on this path to take his own life for years. >> lynn roy is called to the stand to basically set the scene and describe her son, describe his life. >> i was extremely nervous. shaking. and all i could think of, why? she knew the type of person he was and how gentle and kind he was. >> and his mother talks about issues that he'd had in the past. she kind of felt a little more encouraged that maybe he was
moving forward. >> in july of 2014, did you have any concerns about his mental health? >> i knew he was a little depressed, but i thought he was doing -- great. i mean, he just, you know, graduated from high school, got his captain's license, and i thought everything was moving forward, not backwards. so -- >> lynn roy choked up on the stand. his younger sister, camdyn, gave extensive testimony about how michelle carter tried to force this friendship/relationship with her after her brother's death. >> was that the last time you saw your brother? >> yes. >> and so, later on that night, do you recall getting a text message from michelle carter? >> yes. >> there was a parade of her classmates who took the stand for the prosecution. >> can you tell the court -- give the court the idea of how often ms. carter either asked you in person or via text
message to do things with her outside of school? >> probably a couple -- a few times a week. >> and what was your usual answer? >> that i was working or something to do. >> it seemed that michelle thought that some of the relationships were closer than they were. >> was texting the way you and the defendant communicated? >> yes. >> were you ever seeing her outside of school in any social way at all? >> not at that point, no. >> michelle didn't have a lot of close friends, so she reached out to a lot of people that she went to school with and texted them, probably oversharing and inappropriate things, because she was trying to be closer with them. >> on july 10th, two days before conrad dies, michelle is telling friends she doesn't know where conrad is, that he's missing. >> july 10th, 2014, at 5:48. do you remember getting a text message about conrad? >> "conrad's missing, they can't find him anywhere." >> what did she say? >> "he's missing, like they don't know where he is." >> but of course, in reality,
she is texting with conrad. she knows exactly where he is and what he's doing and that he is actually trying to find an engine he can use to kill himself with. >> okay. are you going to buy it? >> i think so. >> okay, when? >> soon. haha. >> that was part of the dry run is that she knew she was going to get the attention that she was seeking, so she had to make it happen. so that's why the pressure, we say, became so intense. >> okay. i'm going to do it today. >> do you promise? >> i promise, babe. >> and now on the night of july 12, 2014 at 825, does michelle carter send you now another text that you receive later on that night? >> yes. >> and what does she tell you? >> "i think he just killed himself." >> and they also pointed to it as a motive, because she had told her friends that he was missing, and if he didn't do it shortly afterwards, she would be exposed as a fraud. >> and samantha boardman is testifying about that
incriminating text she got from michelle two months after conrad died. >> i was on the phone and he got out of the car because it was working and he got scared and i [ bleep ] told him to get back in, sam. >> from a legal standpoint, this text message between michelle and samantha is probably the most damning evidence against michelle. >> she didn't call the police. she didn't tell her parents. she didn't just say stay out of the truck. he got out because he knew he was being poisoned, and she ordered him back into the gas chamber. >> after three days, the prosecution rests its case, and now it's the defense's turn. >> the defense is going to call controversial psychiatrist dr. peter breggin to the stand. >> i think she's going through a lot of very weird things inside her head.
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♪ the k-mart parking lot where conrad roy's black truck was parked, is it a crime scene or a just the tragic site where a teenager took his own life? during the course of the trial, the judge pays a visit. >> we had what they call a view there. we all met at the parking lot and we explained, this is where the police were standing when they did this and that, in order for the judge to see it. >> and right there, michelle carter. >> i don't know how she felt knowing that was the place where conrad had died. >> the prosecution in their case has just finished showing michelle to be the kind of devil on conrad's shoulder, pushing him towards suicide. the defense is going to have to pull back that imagery and show michelle didn't really push him towards anything he wasn't going to do on his own. >> tell me a little bit about michelle.
>> she was, at the time, a nice person, but struggling with mental health issues, and people have to understand that mental health struck michele carter as well. >> the heart of the defense is basically conrad and michelle were this troubled team together. that she wasn't malicious but that she was just as troubled as he was. >> the defense begins their case by calling a mattapoisett police officer to the stand. >> morning, sheriff. >> morning. >> and they detail some domestic abuse issues within conrad's home. >> i responded to an assault call, sir. we attempted to find the person that had been assaulted. >> so conrad roy iii. >> his face was swollen, red, and he had some lacerations to his face. >> he had a falling out with his father, and they had got in a physical altercation. and his father was arrested but not prosecuted. >> the defense really wanted to paint the picture that conrad had a lot going on in his personal life that didn't
involve michelle carter in any way, and that could have led to a lot of his depression. and, ultimately, his suicide. >> conrad did not kill himself because he had an argument with his dad. that wasn't it. that's part of the, "let's try to beat up on everybody else except for the person who's actually responsible for what happened." >> the defense is going to call controversial psychiatrist dr. peter breggin to the stand. >> dr. peter breggin is a psychiatrist who has made a cause of criticizing doctors who prescribe certain drugs to teens, in particular, antidepressants. >> how could the girl who's most likely to brighten your day encourage her boyfriend to take his life? >> the short explanation is, she thought that was the only way to help him. >> there's no question she really did want to help conrad.
the defense needs to explain when that switch flipped in early july. like, why did she all of a sudden start encouraging him? >> she didn't want him to take his life. she said, you don't want to take yor life. you don't want to. she said this to him for two years. >> until she eventually says, do it. >> she said, if that's what you want, do it. she breaks. she breaks under his pressure, under the drugs. >> dr. peter breggin introduced the theory of involuntary intoxication. >> she has an involuntary intoxication, where she's not forming a criminal intent -- i'm gonna harm him she feels definitively that she's done a good thing. >> the defense was trying to present a case to say that the medications michelle was taking affected her decision-making, and that's partially why she was encouraging conrad to kill himself. >> if may i approach the witness, your honor? >> you may. >> so on cross kp-examinaticrose
prosecution grilled dr. breggin. >> this is the dsm-5, for the record, i'm handing the witness. >> asking him whether the term involuntary intoxication was actually a thing. >> i'm asking you to please find "involuntary intoxication," so we can go over what the signs ae. >> there's no involuntary intoxication. that's a legal term. >> then what are you diagnosing her with? if you're saying she's involuntarily intoxicated, what is the diagnosis for her? >> oh! she has a drug intoxication, which i believe is involuntary. >> what i see there is a young girl who is struggling to deal with his suicidal thinking. i have to do this. you need to help me. so she finally succumbs to his wishes. go ahead and do it. if this is what you really want, then do it. >> i think she's going through a lot of very weird things inside her head, very disturbed things.
>> i think in fairness to both -- to all of you, i'll give each of you 40 minute your closing. >> thank you very much, your honor. >> for closing remarks, what both sides tried to do was just get that raw emotion. so for the defense, joseph cataldo really hammered home that michelle carter wasn't physically present. >> it was a suicide brought about by his own physical actions. he accomplished what he wanted. he dragged michelle carter into this, your honor. >> the prosecutors really relied on the fact that she didn't need to physically be there to encourage him and keep him in that truck when it was filling up with carbon monoxide. she was there on the phone. >> it's a new day and age, your honor, and the phones that we have now allow you to be virtually present with somebody. people fall in love on the internet and via text. people bully via text and the internet, and you can encourage
someone to die via text, and you can commit a crime via text. >> michelle carter did not kill conrad roy. it's sad, it's tragic, but it's just not a homicide. >> she absolutely knew it was wrong, and she absolutely caused the death of this 18-year-old boy. and i ask you to find her guilty. >> verdict watch continues in the michelle carter trial this morning. >> with closing arguments done, now it's up to a single judge to decide whether michelle carter is guilty or not guilty of involuntary manslaughter. >> the judge's verdict. will he decide that words can kill? >> if the judge had written this for maximum dramatic tension, i don't think he could've done a better job. >> ms. carter please stand. ♪ i'm the latest hashtag challenge. and everyone on social media is trying me. i'm trending so hard that “hashtag common sense” can't keep up.
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taunton courthouse with my crew. there were cameras everywhere. everybody was talking about this case, and america seemed to be pretty split. could words kill? we were about to find out. >> it was a packed courtroom, and many relatives of conrad roy were filling the first couple of rows. >> the right side, the first few rows filled with conrad roy's relatives. the left side, michelle carter's parents. >> the judge could have just given his verdict like a jury does. guilty, not guilty, right? but he's like, i'm going to give an explanation for my decision. that could be good for either side. >> to provide somecontext for the decisions that have been made. >> as the judge begins to read his decision, michelle carter is visibly upset. she's crying. she's sobbing into her hand. >> this court first finds that the actions taken by miss carter constituted wanton and reckless conduct by her.
the commonwealth has not proven that said behavior caused the death of mr. roy. >> he starts off by saying that it was not reasonable behavior, but that didn't make him kill himself. >> joseph cataldo is comforting michelle. he has his arm around her. >> i thought it was going very well. it sounded like he was going to acquit her. >> however, he breaks that chain of self-causation. >> but then the judge really changes course. >> and that's when you can see from the defense table, hearts start to drop. >> this court finds that instructing mr. roy to get back in the truck constituted wanton and reckless conduct by miss carter, creating a situation where there is a high degree of likelihood that substantial harm would result to mr. roy. >> if the judge had written this for maximum dramatic tension, i don't think he could've done a better job. for 15 minutes this courtroom was dead silent. i could hear my pen scratching
on my notepad when i was taking notes. >> she called no one. and finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction, get out of the truck. >> the judge was really focused on the fact that by not stopping him and continuing to encourage him, that that added to her legal responsibility. >> miss carter please stand. this court, having reviewed the evidence and applied the law thereto, now finds you guilty. >> i just felt relief, and i felt that i could look at the roys and not cry basically. before the trial, i would go and stop at that little shrine that's where conrad died. just to remind myself of why we're doing this.
this isn't about the media, this isn't about, how evil is michelle carter? it's about the fact that this should never have happened. >> get out of the way, guys. come on. >> any reaction? >> i felt a sense of peace. my son was heard and his voice was heard. and for me, that is -- that's victory. >> mr. roy, what relief are you feeling right now? >> i feel like we got a lit tle closure. >> do you regret not seating a jury? >> if i had to do it over again, i might pick 12 people in the box. >> in august of 2017, michelle carter was going to be sentenced for her conviction of involuntary manslaughter. >> at the sentencing, conrad's family spoke about how it felt to have to go through this process and to not have conrad anymore. >> his younger sister camdyn read a statement. she was so emotional. your heart broke for her. >> not a day goes by without him
being my first thought waking up or my last thought going to bed. >> conrad's father also spoke about missing his son. >> where was her humanity? in what world was this behavior okay and acceptable? >> michelle's father wrote a letter to the judge explaining that his daughter was troubled, had struggled with her own issues, and he pleaded with the judge for leniency. >> in it he says, "i hope you will consider a term of probation and continued counseling for her. she will forever live with what she has done. and i know will be a better person because of it. what do you want people to know about the carter family? what are they dealing with at this moment? >> they feel for the roy family. they really do. but they want people to know that they have a wonderful daughter who was struggling with
her issues at the time. and it's a sad set of circumstances. >> this is a tragedy for two families. everyone is entitled to a decision devoid of any emotion with respect to this case. >> the judge has the option of just sentencing her to probation, no jail time, or a maximum of 20 years in prison. miss carter, a guilty finding having entered, now sentences you to two and a half years in the bristol county house of correction, 15 months of said sentence should be deemed a committed sentence. >> 15 months is -- wow, goes by in the blink of an eye, and i have a lifetime without my son. >> many people may be not familiar with the legal process, were shocked that she wasn't immediately sent to jail. >> that's because the defense attorneys won an argument that pending an appeal, she would be a free person. >> it was difficult for the family to understand. okay, now we've gone through a trial. we waited for the verdict, we got the verdict. now we have sentencing and still, she's walking free.
>> you don't want to know our thoughts. you really don't want to. >> she has to live the rest of her life in her skin, as her. one of the most hated people in the country, so good luck with that. >> no sooner is michelle carter's case tried and over than another sort of similar case happens in massachusetts. >> a former boston college student now facing charges for encouraging her boyfriend to take his own life. [shelf falling] the aflac pre-pain show. aflac! paul is about to suffer a shelf-inflicted injury. luckily, aflac will help cover his unexpected medical bills. aflac! maybe you could use the money to buy a step stool. i have a step stool. so why are you climbing a shelf? the stool's on top of the shelf, isn't it paul... [shelf crashing] yeah... ♪ aflac!
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>> and now michelle carter is the subject of a hulu limited series called "the girl from plainville." >> they've opened an investigation into your connection with the death of conrad roy. >> but i didn't do anything wrong. >> there are text messages, thousands of them. >> elle fanning is playing michelle carter. >> everyone definitely had an opinion about this case, it definitely shocked the nation. part of why i like being an actor is exploring kind of the psychology behind, like for michelle in this case. what could bring her to do the things that she did. >> chloe sevigny depicts lynn roy. >> it was a very deep exploration of grief and forgiveness and finding peace in tragedy. >> neither the roys nor the carters were involved in the making of this series, which dramatizes key moments from that story. >> i wanted to spend the rest of my life with him.
>> lynn told us that she hasn't seen the series, and she says she really wants to keep the focus not on michelle, but on conrad and on mental health awareness. >> the appeal process was something that we knew the defense was going to go through as soon as that verdict came down. >> michelle carter continues to live her life, so in those three years, despite all of this going on, she's been free on bail and has continued to do all the things that 17, 18, 19-year-olds have done. >> in february 2019, the massachusetts supreme judicial court announces a decision on michelle carter's appeal. >> she walks into the courtroom. she had a short cropped haircut. she had those signature eyebrows. she was very signifiable in her new look. >> her defense lawyer said that michelle's change in appearance
was also a reflection of how she had changed personally. >> they upheld the conviction. she had by her wanton and reckless conduct caused the death of conrad roy. >> michelle is immediately taken into custody. she doesn't look back at her family. she doesn't say a word. she just quietly walks away. >> but no sooner is michelle carter's case tried and over than another sort of similar case happens in massachusetts. >> former boston college student accused of encouraging her boyfriend to take his own life. >> these allegations echoing another massachusetts case. carter is now serving 15 months in prison. >> it's a similar-ish case in that you have someone who is writing horrible texts, encouraging that person to take his life.
>> a boston college student jumped off the rooftop of a parking garage on the day of his graduation. >> inyoung you and alexander urtula dated for about a year and a half. like michelle carter, she was charged with involuntary manslaughter. >> now in inyoung you's case, she wasn't charged with failing, omitting to act. it was the thousands and thousands of text messages that bullied this man into killing himself. >> inyoung you pled guilty to manslaughter and received a two-and-a-half-year suspended sentence and ten years probation. >> i was pretty surprised to see a case so quickly after michelle carter's prosecuted, which makes me wonder, are there a lot more out there? >> it's just really emblematic of the times that we're in, this digital age where young people
and teenagers, much of their lives are over social media and text messages to communicate. >> teen suicide has always been an issue, but there's no question that social media and cell phones and texting has caused young people to have a different type of relationship with each other. >> online, you can't see the person's face. it's easy to put something out that you would never, ever do face-to-face. >> we have to know that our words matter and that something that can seem so trivial, like a word, can really impact people. >> conrad's mom, lynn, has a new mission. she wants to honor her son by changing the legal system. >> i will never stop loving him and i will
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new developments in that case involving michelle carter. >> she's getting out early for good behavior. >> 23-year-old michelle carter leaving jail today more than three months earlier than expected. >> since she came out of prison, we haven't seen much of michelle carter. she's kept a pretty low profile. what can you tell us about michelle's remorse in her feelings about what happened? >> she regrets it. she is remorseful over the situation, but she's come to gips with it. she understands. >> if you could say something to michelle carter, would you want to? >> no. nope. honestly, i got my personal closure that day when she was found guilty. as far as what happens after that, i'd be happy if i never heard her name or saw her face ever again. >> massachusetts is one of the few states where there is no
written law that says you cannot assist someone to commit suicide or encourage someone to commit suicide. >> conrad roy's mom is spearheading legislation that would make it a crime to encourage someone to take their own life. >> i would like to make one thing clear -- conrad's law has nothing to do with seeking justice for my son. this law has everything to do with preventing this from ever happening again to others who are struggling with mental illness. >> it makes it crystal clear that if you coerce someone into suicide that there is clearly a crime and there will be a punishment. you can be held guilty and you can serve up to five years in prison for that act. >> my hope is to have something, a positive to come out of his passing and help others in the future. >> what do you miss most about
conrad? >> i miss him for my sister. i know i know how much he loved his mom and his sisters. i just try to watch over them like i know he'd want me to. >> love never dies, and i will never stop loving him and i will never stop honoring him and carrying him with me. >> there's been a lot of people who has even, like, reached out to me saying that conrad's story has saved their lives. i think that's like a legacy in its own. >> honestly, i think the world gained an angel. i think he's in his absence just making a huge impact on people's lives. he's happy. i can see him smiling. >> and we should note tonight that michelle carter is currently on probation, which is scheduled to then summer. she declined to speak to abc news. >> if you are struggling with thoughts of suicide or your worried about a loved one, help is available. call the national suicide prevention lifeline.
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