Executive Director - Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
An article that is written by Samantha Bushey and published yesterday in the Faribault Daily News explains that William Melchert-Dinkel, who was convicted for his part in the death of Canadian teenager Nadia Kajouji, has appealed his conviction.
The article states:
Oral arguments could be heard within the next 75 days in the appeal of a former nurse from Faribault who was convicted of encouraging and advising at least two people to commit suicide.
William Melchert-Dinkel, 49, was sentenced in Rice County District Court last May for aiding the suicide deaths of Mark Drybrough, of Coventry, England; and Nadia Kajouji, of Ottawa, Ontario. He filed a notice of appeal days before he was due to report to the Rice County Jail last June, and remains free while it is pending.
Prosecutors say Melchert-Dinkel posed as a young, kind, sympathetic woman who worked as an emergency room nurse, and encouraged people to commit suicide.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Rice County District Court April 23, 2010, during one visit with police Melchert-Dinkel said he visited websites which people used to find suicide methods. He said he acted as an advocate and accessory to someone ending their life, and estimated he had assisted up to five individuals in committing suicide, saying it was "the thrill of the chase."
Drybrough’s sister found him hanging by a rope in his residence on July 27, 2005. Hanging was the method Melchert-Dinkel encouraged, and, according to the complaint, he had advised Drybrough on what rope to buy, how to tie the knot, and how to position the rope.
Melchert-Dinkel found Kajouji on a suicide message board where she was looking for a suicide method with the "highest chance of success" because she was "terrified of failing" and wanted her suicide to "look like an accident."
Melchert-Dinkel repeatedly advised and encouraged Kajouji to commit suicide by hanging, and even entered into a phony suicide pact with her. On March 9-10, 2008, Kajouji jumped into an icy river wearing ice skates; her body was found one month later.The article explains that Melchert-Dinkel has based his appeal on the contention that counselling suicide is protected by a right to free speech.
The fact is that he took advantage of vulnerable people who were depressed and suicidal. Instead of discouraging them from suicide, he encouraged them. It is similar to pushing someone off an edge.