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US man guilty of assisting suicide to be sentenced

October 15, 2014

FARIBAULT, Minnesota (AP) — A former nurse in Minnesota who has admitted to going online and encouraging two people to kill themselves is scheduled to be sentenced.

William Melchert-Dinkel is being sentenced Wednesday on one count of assisting suicide and one count of attempting to assist a suicide.

The 52-year-old was convicted on those counts in September — after the Supreme Court changed the state’s assisted suicide law and reversed his prior convictions in the deaths of an English man and a Canadian woman.

Melchert-Dinkel’s attorney plans to appeal the latest convictions. Among other things, Terry Watkins says he would’ve used a different defense if the case was originally filed under the law as it now stands. Under current law, it’s illegal to assist a suicide, but not illegal to encourage suicide.