A former nurse in Minnesota who admitted going online and encouraging an English man and Canadian Nadia Kajouji to kill themselves is headed to jail.


William Melchert-Dinkel, a former nurse in Minnesota, was convicted in September of one count of assisting suicide and one count of attempting to assist a suicide, in the cases of an English man and Ottawa student Nadia Kajouji. He was sentenced on Wednesday. ((Richard Sennott/Associated Press/Star Tribune))

William Melchert-Dinkel was ordered Wednesday to serve 178 days in jail.

He was sentenced to three years in prison, but he won't have to serve that prison term if he complies with conditions of probation, that include the jail time. He must report to jail Oct. 24.

Melchert-Dinkel told the judge he was sorry for his actions.

Melchert-Dinkel was convicted in September of one count of assisting suicide and one count of attempting to assist a suicide.

The 52-year-old was convicted after the Supreme Court changed the state's assisted suicide law and reversed his prior convictions in the deaths of:

  • Nadia Kajouji, 18, a Brampton, Ont., woman who was attending university in Ottawa and who jumped into a frozen river in 2008.
  • Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England, who hanged himself in 2005.

Melchert-Dinkel's lawyer plans to appeal the latest convictions.


Nadia Kajouji, a Carleton University student, killed herself in 2008. (Facebook)

Among other things, Terry Watkins said he would have used a different defence if the case was originally filed under the law as it now stands.

Under current law, it's illegal to assist a suicide, but not illegal to encourage suicide.

With files from CBC News