Appeals Court upholds aiding suicide conviction - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Appeals Court upholds aiding suicide conviction


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Minnesota Court of Appeals has affirmed the convictions of a former nurse found guilty of aiding the suicides of two people.

Forty-nine-year-old William Melchert-Dinkel, of Faribault, was convicted in 2011 of aiding the suicides of a British man and a Canadian woman. Court documents show he searched for depressed people online and offered instructions on how they could kill themselves.

He admitted his actions were morally wrong but argued he was exercising free speech. He also argued that Minnesota's law outlawing someone to encourage suicide was unconstitutional.

The appeals court disagreed Tuesday.

Melchert-Dinkel was sentenced to more than six years in prison but terms of his parole called for him to actually serve about a year in jail. He has been free pending his appeal.

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