STONY POINT, N.Y. – An architect accused of helping his wife commit suicide by stepping aside as she drove the family minivan off a 300-foot cliff with their two daughters inside has pleaded not guilty.
Victor Han, 34, entered the plea Tuesday to charges of promoting a suicide attempt, reckless endangerment and endangering children.
Police said Han drove his wife and family to a scenic overlook last Wednesday on Bear Mountain State Park, 40 miles north of New York City, knowing she wished to kill herself. He got out and walked away while she got behind the wheel of the minivan and drove it over the edge, police said.
The girls, ages 5 and 3, suffered only minor injuries.
Han did not speak in court, but his lawyer said Han had "no idea, no expectation" that his wife was about to commit suicide.
"This should not be in criminal court because it's not a crime," Lawrence Goldman said. "It's a human tragedy."
Prosecutors said Han signed a statement for police describing the death wish of his wife, Hejin.
Victor Han was released on $75,000 cash bail Monday, but was immediately transferred to a county psychiatric hospital. It was not immediately known whether he had been released. Goldman described him as competent and stable.