Parents defend teen charged with involuntary manslaughter

Michelle Carter of Plainville_150305

PLAINVILLE, Mass. (WPRI) — The parents of a Plainville teen accused of encouraging a friend to commit suicide are maintaining their daughter’s innocence.

Michelle Carter, 18, is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Conrad Roy III of Mattapoisett.

Prosecutors claim Carter texted back and forth with Roy in the minutes before he killed himself in the parking lot of a Fairhaven store last July.

Carter’s parents released a statement defending their daughter, saying “Our hearts have and remain broken for the Roy family. For everyone that does not know our daughter, she is not the villain the media is portraying her to be. She is a quiet, kind, and sympathetic young girl. She tried immensely to help Mr. Roy in his battle with depression. We know that once all of the facts are released, our daughter will be found innocent.”

According to Roy’s obituary, he was a student athlete at Old Rochester Regional High School and graduated in June with a 3.88 GPA. He simultaneously earned his captain’s license from Northeast Maritime Institute and had been accepted to Fitchburg State University.

Carter is a senior at King Philip Regional High School. She was 17 at the time of Roy’s death, but has been charged as a youthful offender, meaning she could face punishment as an adult if convicted.

Carter’s lawyer, Joseph Cataldo, said he plans to file a motion to have the charge dismissed, along with a separate motion to have the entire office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn recused from the case. Cataldo says the DA has a connection to the victim, and wants the case given to another district or special prosecutor.

A spokesperson for the DA’s office confirmed that Quinn is Roy’s third cousin, but the two never met, and said the DA has had no contact with the prosecutors in this case. The office had no response to the statement from Carter’s parents, but said they plan to argue against any motion to dismiss Carter’s manslaughter charge.

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