By AMY FORLITI
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – The attorney for an ex-nurse who encouraged two depressed people to commit suicide told a Minnesota appellate court that the man’s conviction should be overturned on free-speech grounds.
William Melchert-Dinkel, of Faribault, was convicted last year of aiding the suicides of a British man and a Canadian woman. He was sentenced to 360 days in jail.
Melchert-Dinkel admitted going online and giving the victims advice on how to hang themselves.
His attorney, Terry Watkins, told the judges Wednesday that his client has what he called a “disgusting” desire to watch people hang themselves. But Watkins said Melchert-Dinkel did nothing more than give emotional support to the victims.
Assistant Rice County Attorney Benjamin Bejar argued the former nurse had a set method and plan to lure people to commit suicide.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)