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Teen says bus driver questioned her student fare due to teacher strike

VANCOUVER – A 16-year-old student from Cloverdale says she is angry at Translink after a bus driver tried to tell her she couldn’t get the student price due to the current education dispute between the BCTF and the provincial government.

Sydney Walsh boarded the #341 bus in Cloverdale on Monday on her way to her part-time job in Langley. She paid her $1.75, which is the concession fare, and then she said the bus driver asked to see her Go card.

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She tweeted to Translink after the incident saying the bus driver was not going to let her on for the student fare because of the strike.

A Go card is a pass that is issued to every high school student in Metro Vancouver, free of charge, and it allows them to ride the SkyTrain, buses, Sea Bus or West Coast Express for a reduced price. However, students must have their cards on them at all times.

Students are eligible if they are aged 14 to 19 years old (inclusive), in Grade 8 to 12 (inclusive) or enrolled in Grade 8 at the start of the school year. However, due to the strike this year, students entering Grade 8 will not get their Go card until school resumes.

Sydney did have her card on her and did not pay any more to ride the bus.

“Monday was just kind of the final thing,” she said. “We just had so much stuff happening lately with the buses sucking.” She added that last week her friend had a similar experience with a bus driver, who told her she couldn’t get a student fare during the strike.

Sydney said the bus driver was not rude to her but wanted to check if her Go card was still valid during the strike, although this year’s cards do not expire until Oct. 31.

“He said ‘I’m going to need more money,’” Sydney told Global News. “I said ‘I have my student card’ and he said ‘we’ll talk about it after.’” She added that is when he told her the Go cards may no longer be valid for all students.

Sydney did not issue a formal complaint to Translink about the matter but she did tweet to them, complaining about her experience.

Translink issued a statement saying:

Although the passenger has not yet lodged any formal complaint, we can confirm that all Go Cards are valid in summer months up to their expiry at the end of Oct.  This is business as usual. Any student presenting a valid Go Card should be permitted on the bus at a concession fare.  Without all the supporting details such as date, time, route direction etc. this is difficult for us to launch any type of investigation. We encourage all customers to report complaints or commendations to our Customer Relations team p. 604-953-3333.

Study renews calls for better home support wages – New Brunswick

MONCTON, N.B.  – A new Statistics Canada study illustrates the importance of improving working conditions for home care workers, says the Coalition for Seniors and Nursing Home Residents’ Rights.

The study looked at Canadians with unmet long-term home care needs in 2012 and showed that nearly 800,000 people weren’t satisfied with their home care service.

They said their needs were only partly met or not met at all.

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Cecile Cassista, the executive director for the Coalition, says part of the problem has to do with poor working conditions for home care workers.

She says New Brunswick needs a public funding program through the regional health authority.

“That’s what needs to happen in this province so that workers are paid better working conditions,” she said. “Better wages and benefits so that they can care for our seniors for those who need the care.”

Sandra Biseau is a personal care aid at Integrity Home Health Services and earns about $11. 50/hour. She says the wage isn’t high enough to keep people in the industry.

“To make sure we can provide the services they need, we need to have enough staff and it comes down to not enough staff available,” she said. “Why isn’t there enough staff? Not enough money in this industry.”

She says better wages would bring more satisfied clients.

“If you have services five days a week and everyday you have somebody new coming in you’re going to get very discouraged at the end of week,” she said.

Plea deal still on the table for Brad Cooper – Edmonton

WATCH ABOVE: A plea deal may be in the works for Brad Cooper, according to North Carolina media. Laurel Gregory has the details.

EDMONTON – The man convicted of killing his Edmonton-born wife in 2008 is reportedly considering a plea deal as he awaits a retrial, according to North Carolina media.

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  • Trial of Canadian Brad Cooper continues in North Carolina

  • Court clears way for Brad Cooper retrial

Brad Cooper was originally convicted in 2011 of first-degree murder in the death of his wife Nancy in Raleigh, North Carolina.

READ MORE: Brad Cooper found guilty of first-degree murder 

During the trial, prosecutors said Brad killed Nancy because he was upset that she was planning to divorce him and take their two daughters to Canada.

Cooper claimed his wife went for a jog on July 12, 2008 and never came back.

The 40-year-old is serving a life sentence in prison.

However, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in January 2014 to allow a retrial.

READ MORE: Court clears way for Brad Cooper retrial 

In September 2013, the appeals court ruled the trial judge who oversaw Cooper’s 2011 conviction erred by not allowing two defense witnesses to testify about computer evidence that may have affected the jury’s verdict.

The Assistant District Attorney for Wake County, Howard Cummings, told Global News on Tuesday that an offer was made to Cooper to plead guilty to second-degree murder in the last trial.

Six weeks ago, as Wake County reviewed its homicide cases, Cummings explained the offer to Cooper still stands.

A guilty plea to second-degree murder could result in about 13 to 15 years in prison instead of life without parole.

Cummings could not say if the defense is considering the deal and added the two sides “haven’t agreed on anything” in terms of a plea deal.

Cooper is scheduled to appear in court next on September 22.

Alberta’s premier-designate meets with big city mayors

WATCH ABOVE: Alberta’s premier-designate met with both Edmonton and Calgary mayors today, hoping to start dialogue on big city issues. Kendra Slugoski reports.

EDMONTON – Premier-Designate Jim Prentice is meeting with the mayors of both Edmonton and Calgary on Tuesday.

Prentice met with Don Iveson early Tuesday afternoon at City Hall for what Edmonton’s mayor called a productive meeting.

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Iveson and Prentice discussed a number of issues, including better financial support for crime prevention and affordable housing. Both say the lunch hour meeting hosted a very good discussion.

“We had a really exceptional meeting,” said Prentice.

“I think the theme was partnership, overall,” said Iveson.

“We talked about everything from how do we enable kids in this city – whether they’re children of refugees or whether they’re First Nations kids, or whether they’re children experiencing intergenerational poverty – how do we give those kids a chance to be successful, to be productive in this labour market that we need in the future, to draw less on health care costs, to require less of our policing service, how a real partnership between the cities and the province can help advance those kinds of objectives.”

LRT and transportation issues were also discussed.

“I was struck by the number of things that we strongly agree upon,” said Prentice.

“You’ll certainly see a new spirit of partnership from the get-go,” he added. “You’ll see a pathway forward in terms of a road map that we’re going to work on.”

The premier-designate emphasized that he has lived in Edmonton during two periods of his life, and will have a residence in the capital city as he’s serving as premier.

Prentice will head to Calgary to meet with Mayor Naheed Nenshi later Tuesday afternoon.

Just days before the Alberta PC leadership vote, both mayors came out with strong words for the candidates, calling on the province’s next leaders to set a clear policy when it comes to dealing with big city issues.

READ MORE: PC leadership hopefuls react to criticism from Edmonton, Calgary mayors 

“It’s kind of like when a parent realizes that their son or daughter has grown up and is also an adult and that they can have a grown up conversation with them. It still sort of feels like the provincial government looks at us like we’re their children,” Iveson said September 3.

“It’s time the provincial government come to the table and have a grown up conversation about some of these challenges that stand in the way of Edmonton’s long-term success.”

Following Tuesday’s meeting, Iveson was asked how he would describe the conversation.

“I think we had a very good conversation,” said Edmonton’s mayor.

“I would say the level of debate has gone up.”

“We had the first round of a very grown up conversation and I’m optimistic about where we’re going to take it from here.”

Prior to Saturday’s vote, Calgary mayor Naheed Nenshi was also critical, blasting all three leadership candidates for what he called their lack of vision.

“While they commit to working with municipalities to move forward, they are incredibly light on actual policy recommendations. And I must say I’m surprised by this,” Nenshi said Wednesday.

Until Tuesday, Iveson had yet to sit down with Prentice to discuss issues such as funding for infrastructure, big city policing and poverty elimination.

Nenshi said he had met with all three candidates in July.

“I’m delighted to sit down with Mayor Iveson and Mayor Nenshi,” said Prentice on September 4. “They need a new partnership with the provincial government. I’ve been very clear in essentially every speech I’ve given that they need exactly that. These are two vibrant, confident, great cities — the envy of North America — and they need a partnership with the provincial government.”

Following Prentice’s win Saturday evening, both Iveson and Nenshi sent out congratulatory messages on 桑拿会所.

Following Tuesday’s meeting, Iveson said he and Prentice would be meeting again shortly.

Premier-designate Prentice will be on the Global Edmonton Morning News on Wednesday at 7 a.m.

Toronto’s 10 most dangerous schools for pedestrians – Toronto

Class is back in session. But not all walks to school are created equal.

The city’s most dangerous schools when it comes to pedestrian-motorist collisions are all near busy intersections with multiple lanes of commuter traffic, according to Global News analysis of collision statistics obtained through freedom of information. The statistics show all vehicle collisions from January, 2000 through November, 2013. We calculated exactly how many people have been hit by a vehicle within 100 metres of every Toronto elementary school.

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Valley Park Middle School, near Don Mills Road and Overlea Boulevard, ranks worst, with 28 pedestrian-vehicle collisions. That’s an average of more than two accidents per year.

(Although a middle school, Valley Park showed up in our data because it has Grade 6 pupils.)

Tied for second place in terms of pedestrian safety are Downtown Alternative Public School, on Lower Jarvis Street south of Front Street West and St. Aidan Separate School, on Finch Avenue East east of Warden Avenue. The areas around these schools had 26 pedestrian collisions each between 2000 and 2013.

All three schools are near, or face, busy traffic arteries.

“At the end of the day what we are really talking about here is a volume problem,” said Jennifer Keesmaat, chief planner for the city of Toronto. “We need to ensure that we are designing our schools not for cars, but for pedestrians and making it safe for pedestrians.”

And while the onus is on drivers to look out for pedestrians, police say, it’s important pedestrians to stay alert, too.

“I would say crossing becomes a shared responsibility,” said Toronto Police Const. Hugh Smith.

Schools with pedestrian collisions nearby »

Schools with pedestrian collisions nearby

Top ten elementary schools for nearby pedestrian injuries, 2000-13:
1. Valley Park Middle School: 28 collisions
2. Downtown Alternative Public School: 26 collisions
3. St. Aidan Separate School: 26 collisions
4. Eglinton Junior Public School: 24 collisions
5. St. Monica Separate School: 20 collisions
6. Ryerson Community School: 20 collisions
7. Pope Paul Separate School: 19 collisions
8. St. Helen Separate School: 18 collisions
9. Morse Street Public School: 18 collisions
10. Galloway Road Public School: 18 collisions

Alleged victim of a Fairview Pointe-Claire Peeping Tom speaks out – Montreal

WATCH ABOVE: A young man claims that he was grossly violated in the Sears bathroom at the Fairview Pointe-Claire after a man allegedly took photos of him in a stall. Rachel Lau looks into the story.

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  • Fairview Pointe-Claire mall bathroom hotspot for sexual encounters

MONTREAL — When Matthew Tod wandered through the Fairview Pointe-Claire shopping mall on the way home from his grandmother’s house, he didn’t think making a quick stop at the Sears bathroom would become such a terrifying experience.

“[A man] came close to my bathroom stall and then started to look into my bathroom stall. So, at that moment I froze,” he said.

“I didn’t know what to do.”

Tod never expected what happened next.

READ MORE: Fairview Pointe-Claire mall bathroom hotspot for sexual encounters

“From my stall, he went into the next stall and put his hand over and that’s when he took a picture with his phone,” he said.

Feeling scared and threatened, the 17-year-old says he quickly sought out store security.

“His answer to me was ‘don’t call the police, we’ll deal with it, there’s no point to call the police,’” said Tod.

“When I told him that I wanted to call the police he said ‘well, that’s the dumbest thing on earth to do.’”

Global News spoke to the security at Sears.

However, we were told that their protocol is not public information and they denied our request for an interview.

Tod said he couldn’t understand how something like this could happen, until he saw some suspicious writing on the bathroom walls.

After his experience, Tod says he second guesses the suspicious writing on the bathroom walls.

Louis-Xavier Roux/Global News

“It was really hard to see, you can’t see unless you really pay attention,” he said.

“There was solicitation writing on the wall and I figure that something could maybe be going on in that bathroom.”

Tod’s discovery prompted him to file a police report, even though he said Sears security had told him not to.

“Police officers received a call from a 911 concerning a suspicious behaviour,” said Manuel Couture, a spokesperson for the Montreal police.

“The investigators are well aware of all the facts and they’re working on this event.”

Since Sears has its own security service, the Fairview mall said it has no power over what happens inside the department store.

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“I don’t accept that,” shopper Pilar Espaillat told Global News.

“I have a 17-year-old boy, so that’s scary to hear that.”

“The fact that that’s happening is a little weird,” agreed Patrick Kloskowski, another shopper.

Police are reviewing security footage from the store and told Global News that they’re looking for a suspect.

As for Tod, he said he believes that something needs to be done fast to keep mall-goers safe.

Tone improving in Quebec pension talks – Montreal

Watch: Extended interview with union leader Marc Ranger 

MONTREAL — Pension talks between the Quebec government and municipal unions are progressing.

Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Moreau met Tuesday morning with representatives from the Union Coalition for Free Negotiation for a meeting that lasted over an hour.

IN PHOTOS: Quebec pension protests get creative

The two parties are discussing Bill 3, the provincial Liberal party’s controversial plan to change municipal pension plans.

The government estimates the pension plans are almost $4 billion in the red.

When the bill was first introduced at the National Assembly in June, union leader Marc Ranger told reporters he saw it as a declaration of war.

Gallery: A look at some of the pension protests in Quebec over the summer

Union workers protest over a provincial proposal to overhaul pension plans at the legislature in Quebec City on Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

Clement Allard/The Canadian Press

Municipal workers frustrated with Bill 3 used the opening ceremonies of the Quebec Games to make a point about pensions on Friday, August 1, 2014.

Global News

Municipal workers frustrated with Bill 3 used the opening ceremonies of the Quebec Games to make a point about pensions on Friday, August 1, 2014.

Global News

Municipal workers frustrated with Bill 3 used the opening ceremonies of the Quebec Games to make a point about pensions on Friday, August 1, 2014.

Global News

Hundreds of city workers in Montreal participated in protests with firefighters lighting hats on fire to show their frustration with proposed pension reforms on June 17, 2014.

Global News

Hundreds of city workers in Montreal participated in protests with firefighters lighting hats on fire to show their frustration with proposed pension reforms on June 17, 2014.

Global News

Hundreds of city workers in Montreal participated in protests with firefighters lighting hats on fire to show their frustration with proposed pension reforms on June 17, 2014.

Global News

Hundreds of city workers in Montreal participated in protests with firefighters lighting hats on fire to show their frustration with proposed pension reforms on June 17, 2014.

Global News

Hundreds of city workers in Montreal participated in protests with firefighters lighting hats on fire to show their frustration with proposed pension reforms on June 17, 2014.

Global News

Hundreds of city workers in Montreal participated in protests with firefighters lighting hats on fire to show their frustration with proposed pension reforms on June 17, 2014.

Global News

Hundreds of city workers in Montreal participated in protests with firefighters lighting hats on fire to show their frustration with proposed pension reforms on June 17, 2014.

Global News

Montreal police officers wear red caps and dress down in protest over pension plan changes.

Global News

There were several protests over the summer, including one at Montreal city hall, and relations continued to deteriorate during committee hearings later in August.

Now, it seems the two parties are making some headway.

Watch: Firefighters’ union to pick up protest tab

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Moreau said he can “adjust” and possibly wait until collective agreements in each city expire to impose his reform, the 50-50 sharing of past, present and future deficits.

Montreal’s collective agreement expires in 2017.

Ranger told Global News he is not comfortable with the term “adjustment.” He would like to see major changes to the bill. But he noted that Tuesday morning’s meeting with Moreau was “constructive.”

“I can say it went better than expected,” said Ranger.

“We had absolutely no expectations coming into this meeting. We weren’t there to be polite, we were there to talk about a serious issue, so the discussions were very straightforward, and we’re not at a public commission, so I think that the discussions were honest.”

Unions are still planning to hold a big demonstration on September 20.

They intend however to respect Quebec’s Essential Services Act, which limits police and firefighters’ right to protest.

Jury selection for Magnotta murder trial continues – Montreal

MONTREAL — Jury selection continued on Tuesday in Montreal for the first-degree murder trial of Luka Magnotta.

Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to five charges in the May 2012 slaying and dismemberment of 33-year-old Chinese engineering student Jun Lin.

Gallery: A glimpse inside the Montreal courthouse

An artists’ impression of Luka Magnotta is shown at the Montreal Courthouse in Montreal, Monday, September 9, 2014.

Delphine Bergeron/Global News

A glimpse inside the Montreal courtroom where Luka Magnotta is being tried for murder on September 8, 2014.

Delphine Bergeron/Global News

An artists’ impression of Luka Magnotta is shown at the Montreal Courthouse in Montreal, Monday, September 9, 2014.

Delphine Bergeron/Global News

Justice Guy Cournoyer at the Montreal courthouse for the Luka Magnotta trial on September 8, 2014.

Delphine Bergeron/Global News

An artists’ impression of Luka Magnotta is shown at the Montreal Courthouse in Montreal, Monday, September 9, 2014.

Delphine Bergeron/Global News

Inside the courthouse in Montreal during a pre-trial hearing for Luka Magnotta on September 5, 2014.

Delphine Bergeron/Global News

An artists’ impression of Luka Magnotta is shown at the Montreal Courthouse in Montreal, Monday, September 9, 2014.

Delphine Bergeron/Global News

An artists’ impression of Luka Magnotta is shown at the Montreal Courthouse in Montreal, Monday, September 8, 2014.

Mike McLaughlin/The Canadian Press

An artists’ impression of Luka Magnotta is shown at the Montreal Courthouse in Montreal, Monday, September 9, 2014.

Delphine Bergeron/Global News

In total, 16-hundred prospective jurors have been summoned this week.

Watch: Jury selection starts for Luka Magnotta trial

Of the first 400 people called to the courthouse, Justice Guy Cournoyer noted that 87 did not seek an exemption and are set to return next week for the selection process.

But many were exempted on Monday — mainly over language proficiency.

READ MORE: Jury selection begins in murder trial of Luka Magnotta

Next week, the remaining pool will return for the actual selection of 12 bilingual jurors and two alternates.

Evidence will be presented starting September 22.

Watch: Magnotta’s lawyer explains what he’s looking for in a juror

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©2014The Canadian Press

Bed bug battle at Saskatoon apartment complex – Saskatoon

Watch above: Bed bug infestation forces woman from Saskatoon apartment

SASKATOON – Bed bugs. Just the thought of them makes your skin crawl and according to local pest control experts, they’re becoming more prevalent.

“Bed bugs are simply a hitchhiker and you’ll pick up bed bugs in many, many different places,” said Murray Davison, branch manager for Poulin’s Professional Pest Control Services.

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“They’re making a come-back because of international travel,you know lots of people traveling to different destinations around the world and they’re just bringing them back.”

Surviving up to a year without a blood meal, bed bugs can live in walls and transfer in between apartments.

“They’re quite happy to live in the top third of your bed, in your headboard, in your night stand that kinda stuff and as long as there’s a blood meal there every night, you know you’re sleeping in there and they’ll come and feed on you.” explained Davison.

Serina McKeen, a young mother of one, says she’s packing up after getting fed-up with a bug infestation in her apartment complex on Avenue O South.

“It’s not a safe place for my kid.”

She and her two-year-old son now share an air mattress at their new apartment after McKeen said she’s had to either toss or leave behind hundreds of dollars worth of her belongings.

“We were told not to bring our furniture because they don’t want the problem over at my new house and I’m having an inspection next Monday to see if I brought bugs,” said McKeen.

Struggling to pay the bills, McKeen says she has no idea when she’ll be able to replace her furniture including her son’s crib.

“It makes me feel like a crappy parent that I can’t afford to go get my son a brand new bed which he deserves and I’m suppose to be his provider and I can’t even afford it right now.”

Two floors up in the same apartment complex, James Smith says the infestation in his apartment is so bad a good night’s rest is hard to come by.

“She gets up in the middle of the night, my wife and check two or three times and surprisingly enough we find one or two a night,” said Smith

“I get up with her, she gets up, baby’s up, we’re checking all around and just not feeling comfortable going back to sleep.”

Tenants say they’ve filed complaints with the company but the building hasn’t been professionally treated since the spring.

Avenue Living, the property management for Angela Dawn Apartments, says otherwise.

In statement to Global News, Avenue Living said “125 Avenue O south has been treated several times by both third party pest control providers and staff over the last year. Most recently in late July, 2014…” The full statement is below.

“A lot of the times we go in to treat and it’s just not a very thorough job in term of prep work and a lot of times you’ll just get them back,” said Davison.

Avenue Living says it provides a notice to it’s tenants when pest control will be happening and details on how to prepare the unit then it’s up to the tenant to follow through to ensure the treatment is effective.

U.S. judge convicts ex-nurse in Canadian’s suicide – National

MINNEAPOLIS – A former Minnesota nurse who admitted going online and encouraging people to kill themselves was convicted Tuesday of assisting the suicide of an English man and attempting to assist in the suicide of a Canadian woman.

The convictions follow a legal battle that spanned more than four years and that led to the reversal of part of a Minnesota state law that outlaws the practice.

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Rice County District Judge Thomas Neuville ruled that the state proved that William Melchert-Dinkel, 52, assisted in the suicide of Mark Drybrough, 32, of Coventry, England.

He said the state failed to prove Melchert-Dinkel ‘s assistance was a direct cause of the suicide of Nadia Kajouji, 18, of Brampton, Ont., but found him guilty on a lesser charge of attempting to help her take her life.

READ MORE: Government to argue ‘absolute prohibition’ on assisted suicide in Canada

Melechert-Dinkel’s attorney, Terry Watkins, and the prosecutor, Rice County Attorney Paul Beaumaster, did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the verdict.

Neuville scheduled a sentencing hearing for Oct. 15. The same judge had also convicted Melchert-Dinkel in 2011 of encouraging the two suicides but put his 360-day jail sentence on hold pending appeals.

“The Defendant did not physically assist either Drybrough or Kajouji in taking their own life,” the judge wrote in a ruling dated Monday but not released until Tuesday. “However, there is significant evidence that the Defendant assisted Drybrough, and attempted to assist Kajouji, commit suicide by providing them with specific instructions and methodology for completing the suicide.”

Kajouji jumped into a frozen river in 2008. She was a student at Carleton University in Ottawa at the time. Drybrough hanged himself in 2005.

In his ruling, Neuville said Melchert-Dinkel provided both Drybrough and Kajouji with detailed information about how to hang themselves, and that Drybrough followed his instructions. However, he noted that while the defendant gave Kajouji detailed and specific instructions about hanging, she did not follow them and chose another method. So the judge said Melchert-Dinkel was guilty only of attempting to assist her suicide.

The Minnesota Supreme Court reversed Melchert-Dinkel ‘s original conviction in March, saying part of a state law that made it illegal to “advise” or “encourage” suicides was an unconstitutionally broad restriction on free speech. However, the justices upheld a part of the law that makes it a crime to “assist” in someone’s suicide. The ruling said speech alone can be used to assist or enable a suicide if it is narrowly targeted to one person and provides that person with what is needed to carry out the act.

READ MORE: Widow of Dr. Donald Low lends voice to lift ban on assisted-suicide

The Supreme Court sent the case back to the lower court for further proceedings because the judge did not rule at the time on whether Melchert-Dinkel actually assisted in the two suicides.

Evidence in the case showed Melchert-Dinkel was obsessed with suicide and sought out depressed people online. He posed as a suicidal female nurse, feigning compassion and offering step-by-step instructions on how they could kill themselves. He acknowledged participating in online chats about suicide with up to 20 people and entering into fake suicide pacts with about 10, five of whom he believed killed themselves.

At a hearing last month, Assistant Rice County Attorney Terence Swihart said Melchert-Dinkel provided Kajouji and Drybrough with specific information on methods for killing themselves, going beyond merely expressing opinions.

But defence attorney Watkins said there was no evidence to prove that Melchert-Dinkel’s advice led directly to their deaths.

©2014The Associated Press

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