Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Bonus content

March 20, 2014

Court reverses convictions in aiding-suicide case

(Continued)

Melchert-Dinkel told police he did it for the "thrill of the chase." According to court documents, he acknowledged participating in online chats about suicide with up to 20 people and entering into fake suicide pacts with about 10, five of whom he believed killed themselves.

He was convicted in the deaths of Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Brampton, Ontario, and Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England. Kajouji jumped into a frozen river in 2008, and Drybrough hanged himself in 2005.

He was sentenced to 360 days in jail, but that was put on hold and he has remained free while the appeal was pending.

Rice County Attorney Paul Beaumaster, who prosecuted the case, said it's now up to the lower court judge to decide whether the evidence showed Melchert-Dinkel "assisted" in the suicides.

Justice Barry Anderson, writing for the majority, said speech alone can be used to assist or enable a suicide if it is narrowly targeted to one person and provides that person with what is needed to carry out the act.

"This signifies a level of involvement in the suicide beyond merely expressing a moral viewpoint or providing general comfort or support. Rather, 'assist,' by its plain meaning, involves enabling the person to commit suicide," he wrote.

"Here, we need only note that speech instructing another on suicide methods falls within the ambit of constitutional limitations on speech ..." the ruling said.

Melchert-Dinkel's attorney, Terry Watkins, said he doesn't believe there's enough evidence to prove his client assisted in the deaths.

"We've never pretended that the actions that he did should be condoned or should be admired ... but constitutionally, he was not in the wrong," Watkins said.

Justice Alan Page offered the lone dissent. While he agreed that the state's language against "advising" and "encouraging" suicides is unconstitutional, he disagreed that the lower court should now determine whether Melchert-Dinkel "assisted" in the suicides. He said there's not enough evidence, and it's a waste of resources.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Bonus content
  • George Harrison Tree-Beetles-6 [Duplicate] [Duplicate] George Harrison memorial tree killed by beetles LOS ANGELES (AP) — A tree planted in Los Angeles to honor former Beatle George Harrison has been killed — by beetles. Councilman Tom LaBonge says the pine grew to more than 12 feet tall before succumbing to a bark beetle infestation. The tree was rem

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Complaint ends teacher prayer in western Indiana school district TERRE HAUTE (AP) — A western Indiana school district is telling teachers and other employees they can't lead prayers during school-sponsored event. The decision by the Vigo County School Corp. in Terre Haute follows a complaint made to the Freedom fr

    July 23, 2014

  • Aging America Roommates-18 [Duplicate] Seniors use roommate-finding agencies to cut costs NEW YORK (AP) — It's not exactly "The Golden Girls," but for Marcia Rosenfeld, it'll do. Rosenfeld is among thousands of aging Americans taking part in home-sharing programs around the country that allow seniors to stay in their homes and save money

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Digital Life Review Amazon Phone-9 [Duplicate] Review: Amazon Fire offers new ways to use phones NEW YORK (AP) — What I find fascinating about Amazon's Fire phone isn't the gizmos such as the 3-D imagery or the camera scanner that helps you get more information about products. Rather, I like that Amazon is thinking a lot about how phones ought t

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ODD Brooklyn Bridge Mystery Flags-12 [Duplicate] Mysterious white flags appear atop Brooklyn Bridge NEW YORK (AP) — Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags. The white flags — international symbols of surrender — fluttered Tuesday from poles on the stone supports that hold cables above the bridge co

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Federal appeals court deals blow to health law WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal appeals court has delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law, potentially derailing subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who have bought policies. If upheld, the decision could mean

    July 22, 2014

  • Music-Shawn Mendes-3 [Duplicate] Vine star Mendes finds breakthrough on pop charts NEW YORK (AP) — Six seconds isn't a long time, but Vine superstar Shawn Mendes made the time count when posting cover songs on the social media platform. The teen singer says he would pick the hits he would cover — and the sections of the tracks — an

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Schizophrenia Genome [Duplicate] Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia WASHINGTON (AP) — Scientists have linked more than 100 spots in our DNA to the risk of developing schizophrenia, casting light on the mystery of what makes the disease tick. Such work could eventually point to new treatments, although they are many y

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston Marathon Suspects Friends [Duplicate] Marathon suspect's friend guilty of impeding probe BOSTON (AP) — A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted Monday of impeding the investigation into the bombing. Azamat Tazhayakov was charged with obstruction of justice and conspiracy, with prosecutors saying

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hopkins to pay $190M after doc taped pelvic exams BALTIMORE (AP) — Johns Hopkins Health System will pay $190 million to more than 8,000 women whose bodies may have been videotaped or photographed by a gynecologist using a pen-like camera during pelvic exams. Dr. Nikita Levy was fired in February 201

    July 21, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller