An attorney for a former southern Minnesota nurse convicted of going online and encouraging two people to kill themselves says his client was merely supporting his alleged victims and had no influence on their actions. William Melchert-Dinkel of Faribault was convicted last year on two counts of aiding suicide. His attorney is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn those convictions. In court documents filed this week, attorney Terry Watkins says Melchert-Dinkel did not directly participate in the suicides of an English man and a Canadian woman. Watkins also cites case law he says shows that his 50-year-old client had no legal duty to stop the suicides. He faces about a year in jail unless his conviction is overturned. Melchert-Dinkel remains free pending appeal.
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