In what's sure to be a controversial decision by the parole board of the Bristol County House of Correction, Michelle Carter was released from prison several months ahead of schedule today.
In August of 2017, Carter was sentenced to 15 months in prison for encouraging her teenage boyfriend to commit suicide in a series of shocking text messages.
In February of last year, Carter began serving her sentence -- one that many who watched the case closely believed to be a slap on the wrist.
Today, the 23-year-old, whose crimes made her a tabloid staple at the age of 17, walked out of prison more than three months early.
Prison officials in Bristol County, Massachusetts told the media Carter had fulfilled all of the requirements to qualify for an early release on grounds of good behavior.
No doubt Carter and her family are hoping to put this whole ordeal behind them.
However, the high profile nature of the case may make it difficult for the Carters to do so.
Michelle's arrest and subsequent trial made headlines and incited outrage nationwide.
In July of 2014, Carter's boyfriend, Conrad Roy III, locked himself in his truck and committed suicide via carbon monoxide poisoning.
Text messages from the days before his death show that Roy, who had a history of mental illness, was encouraged by Carter to take his own life.
Carter was on the phone with Roy as his truck filled with exhaust fumes, and prosecutors alleged that she was encouraging him to stay where he was and see the act through to its completion.
"You always say you’re gonna do it, but you never do. I just want to make sure tonight is the real thing," read one message from Carter to Roy.
"You just have to do it," she wrote to him at one point.
"It’s painless and quick," read another text that was read to the jury during Carter's trial.
Despite the horrific nature of Carter's communications with Roy, her case became a subject of intense controversy, as many in the media believed that she was not criminally liable for the young man's death.
Some argued that since she played no part in physically ending Roy's life, she should not be found guilty.
Others cited her age and argued that she likely did not fully grasp the effect her words would have on the victim.
The jury disagreed and found Carter guilty -- and you can bet that today's early release will reopen the debate over her culpability.