ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Prosecutors in southern Minnesota say an ex-nurse was not participating in protected speech when he went online and encouraged two depressed people to kill themselves.

William Melchert-Dinkel was found guilty last year of aiding the suicides of a British man and Canadian woman. His attorney is asking the Minnesota Court of Appeals to overturn the conviction on free speech grounds, arguing the victims had already decided to commit suicide.

In documents filed last week, Assistant Rice County Attorney Benjamin Bejar says First Amendment protections are not absolute and don’t cover words encouraging another person’s lawless conduct.

He says evidence shows Melchert-Dinkel’s speech encouraged his victims to do something they might not have done without him.

The appeal continues. Melchert-Dinkel’s attorney now has a chance to respond to prosecutors’ arguments.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  1. Ayk says:

    Hello Vince,Thank you for solving what A C O means.I do a lot of wdionw shopping looking for remnant prairies and older farmsteads. As you say Brown Co. has a lot of these silos and yes Springfield is in the county. My mom was curator of the Blue Earth Co. Museum in the 70 s and had a lot of info on mankato bricks.She bemoans the period when urban developement took out a lot of the remaining brick roads and or asphalted them over. I think the only original road left is down by Sibley Park, fun to drive on. Thank you and keep up your efforts. I appreciate them.Tom Schuster

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