Former Minnesota nurse charged with assisting suicides on Web

by Kendall Mark

A former nurse is charged with aiding the suicide of a man in Britian and a Canadian woman via an internet chat room, the Star Tribune said.

William Melchert-Dinkel, 47, had his nursing license revoked last June, allegedly suggested to people on suicide chat sites that they commit suicide together on Webcam and told people how to most effectively do so, the Star Tribune said.

The charges will be hard to prosecute because of freedom of speech, but if charged Melchert-Dinkel could have the maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine, the Associated Press said.

Minnesota authorities began investigating March 2008 when an anti-suicide activist in Britain told them someone was assisting in suicides from Minnesota, the Associated Press said.

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