"48 HOURS" HAD THE GROUNDBREAKING TRIAL OF A CRIME OF DIGITAL AGE, AND NOW THE CONCLUSION - SHOULD A 20-YEAR-OLD WOMAN GO TO PRISON FOR SENDING TEXTS?
In Her Only TV Interview Conrad Roy's Mother Speaks Out on the Loss of Her Son in "Death by Text"
Saturday, August 5, 10:00 PM, ET/PT
Correspondent Erin Moriarty and 48 HOURS investigate the crime of the digital age, the trial, and whether a 20-year-old woman should go to prison for sending texts and calling a friend before he took his own life in an updated edition of "Death by Text" to be broadcast Saturday, August 5 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
The broadcast includes the case, the trial, the sentencing and the only TV interview with Lynn Roy, who opens up about the death of her son, Conrad Roy III, and the groundbreaking case against Michelle Carter, who prosecutors maintained caused Roy to kill himself in text messages.
Conrad Roy died of carbon monoxide poisoning after sitting in his truck with a gas-powered water pump running in the backseat on July 12, 2014. Carter was later charged with involuntary manslaughter. Prosecutors said he was pushed to kill himself through hundreds of incessant messages from Carter, who was more than 30 miles away at the time he died. Her defense lawyers maintained Roy decided to kill himself on his own.
"It was a shock. It was an absolute shock," Lynn Roy told Moriarty. "Losing a child, I will live with this forever - the pain."
Carter and Roy met in 2012. Though they lived an hour apart in Massachusetts they communicated almost exclusively via texts, online and by phone. It's a case that's been watched nationwide because it hinges on the power of words - Carter's words - and whether they could be deadly. In his own videos, Roy talked about his own struggles with social anxiety, depression and thoughts of suicide.
Prosecutors argued that Carter played on Roy's mental health in her texts.
"I thought you wanted to do this. The time is right and you're ready, you just need to do it! You can't keep living this way. You just need to do it like you did last time and not think about it and just do it babe. You can't keep doing this every day," Carter wrote Conrad.
"I do want to do it. But like I'm freaking out for my family. I guess idkkk," Conrad responded.
"Conrad, I told you I'll take care of them," Carter wrote back.
At trial, the prosecution maintained Carter could have done something to stop Roy, while her defense argued that Roy knew what he was doing. The judge, who found her guilty, said she could have done something to keep him alive. Carter was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
"I don't believe she has a conscience," Lynn Roy told Moriarty. "I think she needs to be held responsible for her actions 'cause she knew exactly what she was doing and what she said."
48 HOURS: "Death by Text" is produced by Ruth Chenetz, Jamie Stolz, Marcelena Spencer, Liza Finley and Susan Mallie. Stephanie Slifer is the field producer. Mead Stone is the producer-editor. Ken Blum, Atticus Brady, Richard Barber, Phil Tangel, Diana Modica, Mike Baluzy, Doreen Schechter and George Baluzy are the editors. Patti Aronofsky and Judy Tygard are the senior producers. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.
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