Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Kansas murder trial, defense claims it was assisted suicide (Day 1).

Alex Schadenberg
By Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

The murder trial of Ronald Eugene Heskett (49), in Eudora Kansas began yesterday.

The case concerns the death of Vance Moulton (65), who was living with cerebral palsy. Heskett, who was a care-giver for Moulton, has been charged with first-degree murder. Heskett claims that the death was an assisted suicide.

Assisted suicide is when someone assists the suicide death that is carried our by the person who died. It can be done in many ways. Euthanasia is a form of homicide (murder) that is done when one person directly and intentionally causes the death of another person.

According to the Lawrence Journal-World:
Prosecutor Eve Kemple stated that Heskett suffocated Moulton for financial gain. 
Moulton, of Lawrence, had cerebral palsy, which restricted his mobility, Douglas County Coroner Erik Mitchell testified Tuesday. Mitchell said he ruled Moulton’s death a homicide by asphyxiation. 
... Moulton was seen hours after he was pronounced dead the morning of Sept. 12, 2014, lying on his right side with a purple towel ... around his neck, the ends extending behind him. 
... Mitchell said he also found petechiae, or dot-like hemorrhages in Moulton’s face and eyelids, plus a rug burn-type scrape beneath his chin. Mitchell said the petechiae and abrasion were consistent with being suffocated ... 
Mitchell said that because of Moulton’s limited mobility — he had control of just his right arm — it would not be possible for Moulton ... to asphyxiate himself.
Ronald Heskett
Lawrence police officer, Dan Ashley, who did the investigation, also took the stand. Ashley stated that Heskett claimed that Moulton had a history of depression, but Kemple stated that evidence would show that Moulton was not taking anti-depressants. The article stated:

Ashley said that while they weren’t talking, Heskett would say things apparently to himself such as, “Why did you do this now? We almost had you out of this place.”

one thing that distressed Moulton in the months prior to his death was that Moulton despised his landlord and wanted to move from his apartment complex. Kemple indicated that Moulton was getting close to being able to move.
If the content in this article is causing you to have suicidal thoughts contact Your Life Counts.

I am interested in this story because Heskett claims that the death was an assisted suicide. I am not stating that this has occured, but it is possible to cause death and claim assisted suicide as a defense. Further coverage of the case tomorrow.

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