Ex-nurse who admitted encouraging Canadian's suicide headed to jail
William Melchert-Dinkel, centre, leaves the Rice County Courthouse with his attorney Terry Watkins, right, and wife, Joyce Melchert-Dinkel, after waiving his right to a jury trial Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011.(AP / Robb Long)
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, October 15, 2014 9:57AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 15, 2014 2:05PM EDT
FARIBAULT, Minn. -- A former Minnesota nurse who admitted going online and encouraging an English man and a Canadian woman to kill themselves is headed to jail.
William Melchert-Dinkel was ordered Wednesday to serve 178 days in jail.
He was sentenced to nearly five years in prison, but he won't have to serve the prison term if he complies with conditions of probation that include the jail time.
The 52-year-old was convicted in September of one count of assisting a suicide and one count of attempting to assist a suicide in the deaths of Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England and Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Brampton, Ont..
The convictions came after the Minnesota Supreme Court narrowed the state's assisted-suicide law and reversed earlier convictions.
Kajouji jumped into a frozen river in 2008. She was a student at Carleton University in Ottawa at the time. Drybrough hanged himself in 2005.
Melchert-Dinkel told the judge presiding over the case that he was sorry for his actions.