Scoop: 20/20 on ABC - Friday, August 4, 2017
Can encouraging someone to take their life over text message get you 20 years in prison? Weeks after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend, Conrad Roy, to commit suicide, Michelle Carter's sentence will be revealed on Thursday, August 3. The following day, "20/20" features an hour on this unprecedented case and the events leading up to Roy's tragic death. Correspondent Deborah Roberts, who has been following the case closely, will be in Taunton, Massachusetts, as Carter receives her sentence. The report also includes text messages between Carter and Roy, recordings of what Carter told police and interviews with those who knew Carter, Roy and others who were involved in the case. "20/20" airs on FRIDAY, AUGUST 4 (10:00-11:00 p.m. EDT) on ABC. 18-year-old Roy and 17-year-old Carter were in an intense online relationship for about two years. They shared intimate details about their lives with one another, including their struggles with depression. Roy repeatedly told Carter that he wanted to kill himself, and text messages show that at first Carter would try to dissuade him and suggest he get help. On July 12, 2014, Roy told his mother he was going to see a friend, but instead drove to a parking lot and took his life. Authorities viewed the case as a suicide until they unlocked his phone and discovered that in the weeks leading up to his death Carter had stopped trying to help Roy and started encouraging him to kill himself. Carter was indicted in February 2015 for involuntary manslaughter and was found guilty in June 2017. Many viewed the charge and verdict as controversial, asking can someone be responsible for another's death from miles away, with words alone? Carter has been out on bail and living at home while awaiting her sentencing. "20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and David Muir. David Sloan is senior executive producer.