FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — A sentencing date has been set in Minnesota for the former nurse who used the Internet to encourage two people to kill themselves.

William Melchert-Dinkel is scheduled to appear in Rice County District Court on May 4 to hear from the families of the victims and learn his sentence.

Judge Thomas Neuville on Tuesday found the 48-year-old Faribault man guilty of aiding the suicides of 32-year-old Mark Drybrough, of Coventry, England, who hanged himself in 2005, and 18-year-old Nadia Kajouji, of Brampton, Ontario, who jumped into a frozen river in 2008.

The judge rejected the defendant’s argument that his actions amounted to free speech and that his online statements didn’t sway the victims.

Minnesota’s rarely used aiding suicide law carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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