Former nurse William Melchert-Dinkel, 48, of Faribault has been charged with two felony counts of encouraging, advising or assisting another in committing suicide. After oral arguments Thursday morning, Rice County District Judge Thomas Neuville took the matter under advisement; he will issue a verdict within 20 days.
Watkins readily admitted at the hearing that Melchert-Dinkel engaged in online chats encouraging an 18-year-old Canadian woman and a 32-year-old man from England to kill themselves.
Police say Nadia Kajouji of Brampton, Ontario, jumped off a bridge into a frozen river March 9, 2008. It was just two hours after her last communication with Melchert-Dinkel, who posed as a young nurse offering to enter into a suicide pact with her and help instruct her via webcam.
Mark Drybrough of Coventry, England, hanged himself in his bedroom in July 2005, three or four days after Melchert-Dinkel, using the screen name "Li dao," advised him on how to position the rope.