Melchert-Dinkel acted as a internet suicide predator by searching through chatrooms and help sites for people who were depressed and willing to discuss, online, suicide. He established relationships with the vulnerable persons and then tried to convince the person to commit suicide on front of their webcam. As disgusting as it is, it appears that Melchert-Dinkel is a Suicide voyeur.
The Toronto Sun is reporting:
Minnesota defence attorney Terry Watkins plans to argue that former nurse William Melchert-Dinkel, 48, was exercising his First Amendment right to free speech when he assumed a false identity as a depressed teenager contemplating suicide and urged the victims to kill themselves online.
Kajouji jumped into the Rideau River in April 2008.
There is also evidence that Melchert-Dinkel contacted at least 20 people in online chat rooms devoted to suicide.
He was sentenced last month to 360 days in jail.
He has remained free since the conviction and will remain so until the appeal is heard. It's not yet known how quickly that will happen.
Kajouji's family decried the short sentence as an injustice.
Link to the article in the Vancouver Sun.
The lawyer for Melchert-Dinkel had already unsuccessfully argued, in the pre-trial hearings, that the case was an issue of free speech.
Link to a previous article on the free speech defense.
Link to a previous article on why the judge previously rejected the free speech defense.
Link to the article, Melchert-Dinkel found guilty in the deaths of Nadia Kajouji and Mark Drybrough
It is important that William Melchert-Dinkel's convictions be upheld. This is not an issue of free speech but rather a man who was taking advantage of vulnerable people, by encouraging and counseling them to commit suicide, for his own selfish gain.