Ex-Minn. nurse pleads not guilty to suicide aid

A former Minnesota nurse has pleaded not guilty to encouraging an English man and a Canadian woman to kill themselves.

The Rice County Attorney's office says William Melchert-Dinkel of Faribault (FAYR'-boh) requested a jury trial during his court appearance Friday.

Melchert-Dinkel is charged with two counts of aiding suicide. Prosecutors say he sought out depressed people in Internet chat rooms and encouraged two of them to kill themselves.

The defense is asking the judge to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. Earlier this month, Judge Thomas Neuville (NEH'-vihl) refused to dismiss the case on free speech grounds.

Both sides have until Dec. 10 to make written arguments to the judge.