Ex-nurse guilty of assisting suicide gets jail time

Published 9:58 am Thursday, October 16, 2014

FARIBAULT — A former nurse in Minnesota who admitted to going online years ago and preying upon suicidal people — encouraging two to take their lives — must serve nearly six months in jail as part of a sentence handed down Wednesday.

William Melchert-Dinkel, 52, was sentenced to three years in prison in the deaths of an English man and a Canadian woman, but he won’t have to serve the prison term if he complies with conditions of his probation that include the jail time. Melchert-Dinkel must report to jail on Oct. 24.

“I am sorry … for my actions and what I have done,” Melchert-Dinkel said in court before he was sentenced. “I have repented.”

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Melchert-Dinkel was convicted in September of one count of assisting a suicide and one count of attempting to assist a suicide in a case that has played out for years and resulted in a reversal of his prior convictions and a change to Minnesota law. Here’s a look at the case.