William Melchert-Dinkel waives jury trial in online suicide case

Categories: Crime

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Melchert-Dinkel waives his right to a jury trial.
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.

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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].

He's scheduled to go to trial in April.


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