Tue., March 9, 2010 12:06pm (EST)

Grand Jury Indicts Assisted Suicide Group
By Rickey Bevington
Updated: 4 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
A Georgia grand jury has indicted assisted suicide network members. (Photo Courtesy: <a rel="cc:attributionURL" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/fabliaux/383476178/" style="font-size:9px;" target="_blank">bloomsberries</a>. / <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0"  style="font-size:9px;" target="_blank">CC BY-ND 2.0</a>)
A Georgia grand jury has indicted assisted suicide network members. (Photo Courtesy: bloomsberries. / CC BY-ND 2.0)
The defendants are members of the “Final Exit Network,” a national, non-profit organization that helps people end their lives.

Charges include offering to assist in the commission of suicide, tampering with evidence and violating Georgia’s anti-racketeering laws.

The Forsyth County grand jury on Tuesday indicted Thomas E. Goodwin, the Final Exit Network's former president, Dr. Lawrence D. Egbert, the organization's medical director, Nicholas Alec Sheridan, a regional coordinator, and Claire Blehr, a member.

The Georgia-based group was also indicted.

Three of the four were arrested in February 2009 after a Georgia Bureau of Investigation sting in which an undercover agent sought their advice on taking his life.

The group reportedly advises suicide-seekers to purchase two helium tanks and a special hood with which to asphyxiate themselves.

The GBI started investigating the group after the June 2008 assisted suicide of 58-year-old John Celmer of Cumming.

Defense attorney Don Samuel, who represents Egbert and the corporation, said his clients will be exonerated.