William Melchert-Dinkel waives jury trial in online suicide case
William Melchert-Dinkel is accused of persuading a Canadian and a Briton to kill themselves via online suicide chat rooms. The Minnesota nurse says he's not guilty, and at one point tried to using a curious application of his First Amendment rights to defend himself.
Today we learned that the Faribault man doesn't want to risk a jury trial, and would prefer that a judge decide his case.
Minnesota authorities first heard about Melchert-Dinkel in 2008; a tipster in England contacted St. Paul's Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce, saying she had traced the man's aliases -- "Cami," "Dragon Girl," and "Li Dao" -- and that he was trolling chat rooms looking for victims to kill themselves in front of a webcam.
Faribault police arrested Melchert-Dinkel in April 2009 after he was linked to two deaths, 18-year-old Ottawa college student Nadia Kajouji, and Mark Drybrough, 32, of Great Britain.
In court documents, he described in detail how he communicated with his victims, including advising them on the places in a home to hang themselves, and what kind of rope to use. He's been charged with two counts of aiding suicide. [DOWNLOAD COMPLAINT].
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