Kajouji suicide nurse sentenced to 178 days in jail
Nadia Kajouji, a former Carleton U student who committed suicide by jumping into the Rideau River in April, 2008. (File phito submitted image)
A Minnesota judge has ordered 178 days in jail for the former nurse who tried to help 18-year-old Carleton student Nadia Kajouji end her life in 2008.
William Melchert-Dinkel, 52, was convicted Sept. 9 of attempting to assist in Kajouji's death and assisting in the 2005 death of Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England.
He was actually given a five-year jail sentence, but he'll only serve it if he breaches the conditions of his probation.
Melchert-Dinkel's lawyer Terry Watkins has already indicated he intends to appeal the convictions.
Drybrough hanged himself and Kajouji jumped into the Rideau River and drowned.
In a written decision, Rice County Judge Thomas Neuville found Melchert-Dinkel tried to help Kajouji with a suicide, although his encouragement and instruction on how to hang herself were not a direct cause of her 2008 death.
Both Drybrough and Kajouji chatted online or exchanged e-mails with Melchert-Dinkel days before killing themselves, according to court papers. Melchert-Dinkel posed online as a suicidal female nurse, advising people on the proper methods needed for a successful hanging and other topics.
A British woman who had frequented a chat room where people discussed suicidal thoughts warned police in 2008 that she suspected an online predator was encouraging suicides. Police linked MelchertDinkel to related e-mail addresses. Melchert-Dinkel argued that his discussions amounted to free speech.