MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — An attorney for a former Minnesota nurse convicted of going online and encouraging two people to kill themselves says his client was merely supporting his alleged victims and had no influence on their actions.

William Melchert-Dinkel was convicted last year on two counts of aiding suicide. His attorney is asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to overturn those convictions.

READ MORE: Violence Free Minnesota Finds Help For Domestic Abuse Survivors

In court documents filed Wednesday, attorney Terry Watkins says Melchert-Dinkel did not directly participate in the suicides of an English man and a Canadian woman.

READ MORE: Saint Paul Regional Water Services Is Well-Equipped To Handle Heat And Drought

Watkins also cites case law he says shows that his 50-year-old client had no legal duty to stop the suicides.

He faces about a year in jail unless his conviction is overturned. Melchert-Dinkel, who lives in Faribault (FAYR’-boh) in southeast Minnesota, remains free pending appeal.

MORE NEWS: What Health Information Can Employers Require From Their Workers?

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)