Elle Fanning stars as Michelle Carter in the new Hulu limited series The Girl From Plainville, which is inspired by the true story of the “texting suicide” case that sent Michelle to prison. The show is based on the Esquire article of the same name by Jesse Barron and follows Michelle’s relationship with Conrad Roy III, played by Colton Ryan, and the events that ultimately led to Conrad’s tragic death.
Michelle became a household name when she went on trial for encouraging Conrad to take his own life. From details about the shocking case to where Michelle is now, HollywoodLife has everything you need to know about Michelle.
1. Michelle was indicted over her texts to Conrad before his death.
Michelle went on trial because of a series of texts she sent to Conrad that prosecutors said caused him to die by suicide. Conrad repeatedly messaged her saying that he was reluctant to kill himself and was trying to back out of his plans. Instead of urging him to get help, Michelle messaged Conrad and said he should go through with it. Here’s an example of one of the disturbing conversations between Michelle and Conrad before his death:
Michelle: “Last night was it. You keep pushing it off and you say you’ll do it (die by suicide), but you never do. It’s always gonna be that way if you don’t take action. You’re just making it harder on yourself by pushing it off. You just have to do it. Do you want to do it now?”
Conrad: “Is it too late? I don’t know. It’s already light outside. I’m gonna go back too [sic] sleep. Love you. I’ll text you tomorrow.”
Michelle: “No. It’s probably the best time now because everyone is sleeping. Just go somewhere in your truck and no one is really out there right now because it’s an awkward time. If you don’t do it now you’re never gonna do it, and you can say you’ll do it tomorrow, but you probably won’t. Tonight? Love you.”
In another text, Michelle told Conrad, “You’re finally going to be happy in heaven. No more pain. It’s okay to be scared and it’s normal. I mean, you’re about to die.” Conrad died on July 13, 2014. He poisoned himself with carbon monoxide fumes in his truck. He was found dead the next day in the parking lot of a Kmart just outside Boston.
2. Michelle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.
Michelle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on June 16, 2017. The Juvenile Court judge determined that her texts to Conrad “constituted wanton and reckless conduct.” The judge said that Michelle not calling anyone for help and telling Conrad to get back in the car was involuntary manslaughter, despite Conrad also taking “significant actions of his own to end his life.”
3. Michelle was released early from prison.
Michelle was released four months early from prison on January 23, 2020. She served 11 months of her 15-month sentence after earning enough “good time,” Jonathan Darling, a spokesperson for the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office, said in a statement. “Ms. Carter has been a model inmate in Bristol County,” Jonathan said.
Michelle Carter walks out of Bristol County jail. pic.twitter.com/I59eSPl6XX
— NBC 10 WJAR (@NBC10) January 23, 2020
“She has attended programs, had a job inside the jail, has been polite to our staff and volunteers, has gotten along with other inmates, and we’ve had no discipline issues with her whatsoever.”
4. Where is Michelle Carter now?
Since her release from the Bristol County Jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, Michelle has stayed out of the public eye. Her probation is expected to end on August 1, 2022, according to Esquire. While still on parole, Michelle is unable to profit from the publicity surrounding her case. After August 2022, Michelle will have the opportunity to make money off her story (i.e. a memoir).
5. Michelle’s lawyer claimed she was ‘brainwashed’ by Conrad.
Eleven days before his death, Conrad sent Michelle a text saying that they should die by suicide together like “Romeo and Juliet.” Michelle refused, according to her lawyer, and told him to come join her at a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts where she was staying to get treatment for depression. “[Conrad] ultimately persuaded a young, impressionable girl,” the attorney told reporters. “Eventually, he gets her to endorse his plan.”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.