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Final Exit Network trial begins Monday
Two of the four criminal charges pending against Final Exit Network, Inc. in Hastings, Minnesota were dismissed Friday morning.

Before the dismissal, the not-for-profit corporation was charged with two felonies: assisting in a “suicide,” and “aiding and abetting” to assist in a “suicide”; and two “gross” misdemeanors, interfering with the scene of a death and “aiding and abetting” to interfere in the scene of a death.

Final Exit Network this week moved for Dakota County District Court Judge Christian Wilton to dismiss the two “aiding and abetting” counts. One of Final Exit Network’s attorneys, Bill Sherry of nearby Apple Valley, argued that the “aiding and abetting” charges were an improper attempt by the state to charge Final Exit Network twice for each one of the two alleged crimes.

On Friday morning, after the judge and attorneys finished jury selection Thursday afternoon, the attorneys appeared before the judge for one last brief opportunity to argue about pending issues before the trial begins. The motion to dismiss the two “aiding and abetting” charges was expected to be argued, but at the last minute, the prosecutors announced they were finally persuaded that Final Exit Network’s argument was correct: They asked the judge to dismiss the two “aiding and abetting” charges. He did so.

Final Exit Network is thus now charged with one felony, assisting in a “suicide,” and one “gross” misdemeanor, interfering in the scene of a death, in connection with the self-deliverance of Doreen Dunn, 57, of Apple Valley, on May 30, 2007.

The trial begins at 9 a.m. Monday at the Dakota County Judicial Center, 1500 Highway 55, Hastings, Minnesota. The trial is expected to take three to five days.

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