The family of Conrad Roy III is speaking out following the early prison release of Michelle Carter, who was convicted of manslaughter for coaxing the teen, her boyfriend, into killing himself in a landmark texting-suicide case.
Carter, 23, was freed on Thursday after serving about 11 months behind bars. She was originally sentenced to 15 months and was released early due to good behavior. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court declined to hear Carter's appeal of her conviction.
"The U.S. Supreme Court's decision not to hear the appeal and her release today brings closure," Roy's family told E! News in a statement conveyed by his aunt, Becky Maki. "It's been a long six years and we are ready to move on. While we are disappointed that she was not required to serve her full sentence, it doesn't change that Conrad is forever gone. We will continue to remember and honor him and efforts to raise awareness for suicide prevention."
Roy's grandfather, Conrad Roy Sr., said in a statement to E! News, "It sure is a tough day. I'm disgusted with the whole system. You would think that the judge gave her a sentence that was easy enough for her, but to then let her out on good behavior...who is good in jail, has good behavior? It is very difficult. This doesn't work for me. If you ask me, she is not a good person. The sentence was too lenient; 15 months is nothing to a lifetime with my grandson."
The victim's grandfather also lashed out at Bristol County, Massachusetts' sheriff, Thomas M. Hodgson.
"The sheriff should serve the rest of her time," he told the Boston Herald. "He lets her go because she's a good girl? She's not a good girl."
A spokesman for the Bristol County Sheriff's office told the newspaper that the timing of a prisoner's release is directed by state law and is not subject to the discretion of an individual sheriff, jail or the Department of Corrections.
In 2017, Carter was convicted of involuntary manslaughter after prosecutors said she constantly urged Roy, her 18-year-old boyfriend, to kill himself in a parking lot. They said she communicated her thoughts via text messages. Roy committed suicide by filling his parked truck with carbon monoxide from a generator in 2014.
Carter began serving her 15-month sentence last February.
"She's attended programs, she's had a job, she's been polite to our staff and volunteers and she gets along with the inmates," a Bristol County Sheriff's Office spokesperson told E! News about Carter's behavior in prison. "There have been no disciplinary problems with her whatsoever and she's been a model inmate in here at Bristol County."
—Reporting by Jessica Finn