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Kevorkian Is Declared a Fugitive; Faces Charge of Assisting Suicide

<i> From Associated Press</i>

A judge issued an arrest warrant Monday for retired pathologist Jack Kevorkian on a new charge of assisting a suicide. Kevorkian was declared a fugitive after failing to show up at the time authorities said he had promised to surrender.

Monday’s warrant charges Kevorkian in last month’s suicide of 72-year-old Merian Frederick, said Larry Kozma of the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office. Frederick, who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, died Oct. 22 by inhaling carbon monoxide in an apartment next to Kevorkian’s.

Prosecutor Richard Thompson said last week’s death of Dr. Ali Khalili in the same apartment remains under investigation.

Kevorkian already faces assisted-suicide charges in two deaths in neighboring Wayne County. The crime carries up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine on conviction.

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Kevorkian attorney Michael Schwartz denied that he broke any promise to prosecutors and said Kevorkian would surrender today.

The new warrant was issued less than a day after police raided Kevorkian’s apartment. Police said they had received a tip that a suicide was to take place in the apartment.

Kevorkian, who has been present at 20 deaths since June, 1990, said no suicides had been planned for Sunday night.

Kevorkian, 65, has threatened a hunger strike if jailed.

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