Dr. Jack Kevorkian was arrested outside a pawn shop Thursday and charged with assisting the suicide in August of a multiple sclerosis patient who was cremated without an autopsy.
Kevorkian’s attorney predicted acquittal: “There is no body, there is no cause of death, there is no evidence of anything.”
His latest arraignment, in Ionia County, came a week after Kevorkian was charged by Oakland County’s lame-duck prosecutor with assisting in a series of other deaths this summer.
Kevorkian has never been convicted of the charges, despite acknowledging that he has helped 45 people die since 1990.
Kevorkian was handcuffed outside a pawn shop where he was shopping and driven to the arraignment. A clerk at the shop called Kevorkian’s lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, to alert him to the arrest.
Fieger said Ionia County prosecutor Raymond Voet could have arranged for Kevorkian to surrender willingly. Voet said he would have transported Kevorkian without incident but the arrest had to be a secret because of rules governing grand-jury indictments.
The latest charges include assisting a suicide, a felony that carries a five-year prison sentence; as well as practicing unauthorized medicine and related conspiracy charges.
Kevorkian waived his right to a preliminary hearing, so the charges will go straight to trial. No date was set.
Loretta Peabody, 54, died Aug. 30. A death certificate filed four days later by her physician cited natural causes. But police later seized a videotape of her consultation with Kevorkian made the day she died.
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