Michelle Carter and her attorneys felt seven months behind bars was more than enough time to serve after a judge found her guilty of involuntary manslaughter for not halting the suicide of the teen boyfriend she’d encouraged via text to kill himself.
On Thursday, she asked the Massachusetts parole board for early release in a closed-door hearing.
Felix Browne, a spokesman for the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (which oversees the parole board), tells PEOPLE that Carter may not receive an answer for at least 2-3 days. “I know they heard from her, but I’m not sure which family members were there as it was a closed-door hearing,” he says.
There is no deadline for the board’s decision.
Carter, 22, was sentenced to 15 months in jail for her role in the death of 18-year-old Conrad Roy III, who was found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning in his pickup truck on July 13, 2014, in the parking lot of a Fairhaven Kmart.
In hundreds of texts and statements that came to light after Roy’s suicide, Carter, who was 17 when Roy died, was revealed to have pushed him to go through with the act. The judge who found her guilty cited her written admission to a friend that she told Roy to “get back in” the truck after he stepped out and shared his last-minute fears in a call to Carter before he died.
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Both teens had struggled with depression, and Roy had made previous attempts at suicide.
Although Carter’s defense acknowledged her exchanges with Roy, her attorneys argued that prosecutors had “cherry-picked” only those text messages that served their case against her, ignoring others in which Carter urged Roy toward help for his struggles.
Her defense team further argued at trial and in her appeal that Carter’s statements were covered by First Amendment free-speech protections, and that she shouldn’t be found guilty for a crime through words alone, especially when she wasn’t on the scene where Roy died.
In finding Carter guilty, Bristol County Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz highlighted two revelations from Carter’s trial. In addition to her statement that she told Roy to “get back in” as he expressed a desire to abort his fatal plan, Carter initially failed to tell anyone else about it, the judge noted.
Police said Carter deliberately misled friends in the days and hours before Roy died, claiming to them that he’d gone missing at the same time the two of them were in contact.
“She did nothing,” said Moniz at Carter’s sentencing. “She did not call the police or Mr. Roy’s family. Finally, she did not issue a simple additional instruction: ‘Get out of the truck.’”
The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court echoed that theme when it rejected Carter’s appeal. She began serving her sentence in February.
In July, Carter’s legal team appealed her conviction and sentence to the U.S. Supreme Court, according to The Washington Post. The appeal revisits their argument that Carter’s statements to Roy in thousands of texts and emails over two years — a handful of which propose suicide options, along with Carter’s encouragement for Roy kill himself, as he vowed to do — amount to free speech and not a criminal act.
With reporting by LAURA BARCELLA
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.