On Thursday, June 8, 2017 the fourth day of Michelle Carter’s trial to determine whether she will be convicted for involuntary manslaughter continued. The prosecution called three witnesses, two state police electronics experts and the medical examiner.
MA State police trooper Brock Morrissette was the first witness for the prosecution. Morrissette extracted the data from Michelle Carter and Conrad Roy’s cell phones and computers. Using cell phone/cell tower data the prosecution showed that Conrad Roy was at the same location, in Kmart parking lot in the final two hours leading up to his suicide. In that time Roy spoke to Carter on the phone two times, once starting at 6:28 PM for 42 minutes followed by a second 45-minute call between Roy and Carter from 7:15 – 7:59 PM on July 12, 2014. Cell phone data showed that all of Roy’s calls between him and Carter connected through the same cell tower at Bridge Street in Plymouth, MA. After 7:59 PM Roy was no longer responding as Cater called him repeatedly over the next half an hour without answer by Roy.
The next witness for the prosecution was forensic pathologist/medical examiner (ME) Dr. Faryl Sandler who examined Roy’s body and performed an autopsy. She noted that Conrad Roy had a fatal amount of carbon monoxide in his blood stream from carboxyhemoglobin test with a result of 71%. She stated that at 60% a person normally loses consciousness and after that death. Dr. Sandler then provided a time line of death by CO poisoning taken from a case study. In the first 1-2 minutes the person starts coughing; in the next 5-6 minutes the coughing becomes more severe, turns into retching (aka dry heaving.) Approximately 13 minutes later a person would lose consciousness and respiration slows down. After 17 minutes breaths slow to three times a minute and by about 20 minutes, death occurs. Under cross examination Dr. Sandler agreed that if someone leaves the vehicle, escaping the CO fumes for a while, this may extend the time of death.
The final witness for the prosecution was MA Police Sargent Michael Bates. He testified to the extracted texts from Cater and Roy’s cell phones, including texts that were deleted. He confirmed that he could not be certain that he extracted all of the texts they shared but he obtained thousands of them. The prosecution directed Bates to read some of the multiple days of texts between Cater and Roy where she was shown to be cajoling him into committing suicide. After reading several texts, Judge Lawrence Moniz interrupted them. The judge then said, “I will read the texts” seemingly to assure the prosecutors that it wasn’t necessary to read them to him. Tomorrow the defense will call its witnesses and Judge Moniz will decide whether to dismiss the case.