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Published On: Sat, Oct 5th, 2013

Kenneth Minor, convicted for murder, will get a new trial in ‘assisted suicide’ case

A New York man convicted of murder after saying he simply helped a man commit suicide with a knife will get a new trial, a state appeals court ruled on Thursday. Jeffrey Locker was a popular author and the man asserts that he was hired by Locker to kill him, making it look like a murder for insurance reasons.

Jeffrey Locker: Did he hire his killer?

Jeffrey Locker: Did he hire his killer?

Kenneth Minor new trial comes as the trial judge’s jury instructions improperly limited his assisted suicide defense, the state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division said.

Minor was convicted in 2011 of second-degree murder and sentenced to 20 years to life in prison in a case which sparked a controversial and heated debate about what constitutes assisted suicide.

Both prosecutors and Minor agreed that in 2009 a debt-ridden Long Island resident named Jeffrey Locker hired Minor to help him kill himself and make it look like a robbery so his family could collect the life insurance.

Minor claimed that Locker gave him a knife, which Minor held against the steering wheel while Locker impaled himself on it several times. Prosecutors, however, accused Minor of stabbing Locker with the knife and charged him with murder.

Under New York law, assisted suicide is illegal but can be used as a defense against murder charges.

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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