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Kevorkian arrested outside pawn shop


Charged with assisted suicide in Michigan woman's death

November 7, 1996
Web posted at: 10:50 p.m. EST

WATERFORD, Michigan (CNN) -- Jack Kevorkian was charged with one common law felony count of assisted suicide Thursday in the death of an Ionia, Michigan, woman.

Ionia County Sheriff Terry Jungel said Kevorkian also faces one count of conspiracy to assist a suicide and two counts of practicing medicine without a license.


Kevorkian was arrested outside a Waterford pawn shop, where he had been shopping, and was taken to Ionia, where he faced arraignment on the charges Thursday afternoon, Jungel said.

The charges are in connection with the death of Loretta K. Peabody, a woman who was found dead in her bedroom in September.

Ionia County Prosecutor Ray Voet said that Kevorkian and an assistant, Janet Good, visited with Peabody on August 30. "Upon Kevorkian's and Good's exit from the room, Mrs. Peabody was dead," Voet told the Detroit News.

Four days after her death, Peabody's doctor said the death was from natural causes. The body was cremated.


Kevorkian's attorney Geoffrey Fieger confirmed earlier this week that Kevorkian had attended Peabody's death. It was the 45th death he has acknowledged attending since 1990.

Ionia prosecutors started investigating the death after Oakland County officials seized a videotape showing that Peabody was present as Kevorkian met with a Fresno, California, woman in a suburban Detroit hotel. That woman, Isabel Correa, 60, died the next day in Kevorkian's presence.

Ionia is located near Grand Rapids, about a three-hour drive from Detroit. Sheriff's deputies came to Oakland County to make the arrest.

A week ago, Oakland County Prosecutor Richard Thompson charged Kevorkian with 19 new counts related to three assisted suicides. For Oakland County's departing prosecutor, the charges are a last effort to put the 68-year-old retired pathologist in prison. Three previous attempts to do so have failed.

The newest charges included 16 related counts, including conspiracy, presenting himself as a physician while engaging in unlawful conduct, possession of a controlled substance, removing bodies without permission of the medical examiner and attempting to assist a suicide, Thompson said.

In addition, there is a court order forbidding Kevorkian from participating in an assisted suicide. The U.S. Supreme Court recently rejected Kevorkian's attempt to have the court order lifted.

Thompson prosecuted Kevorkian twice this year -- once under a Michigan law, now expired, enacted specifically to stop him; then under unwritten state common law. Kevorkian was acquitted of the charges, and was acquitted in a similar case in 1994 in Wayne County, Michigan.


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