Arizona man accused of assisting suicide in New York charged with murder


An 85-year-old former Arizona doctor was charged with murder for his role in the suicide of a woman in an upstate. New York Motel room, authorities said.

On November 9, the woman’s body was found by housekeeping staff at a motel in Kingston, New York. According to the Ulster County District Attorney’s office, Kingston police, firefighters and emergency personnel concluded that she died “via assisted suicide.”

Prosecutors said investigators determined that Stephen Miller had traveled from Arizona and was with the woman at the time of her death at the motel, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of New York City. Authorities did not identify the woman.

Miller, of Tucson, was convicted Friday of second-degree murder under a provision that allows a charge of knowingly causing or assisting the suicide of another person. According to Kingston Police, he also faces two counts of assault.

According to his attorney Jeffrey Lichtman, Miller, who voluntarily surrendered, pleaded not guilty, made bail and returned to Arizona.

Photos you should see

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31: Gallery staff posing for photographs "Untitled (no comments) (2020) by Barbara Kruger is on display at the Serpentine South Gallery in London, England through January 31, 2024.  The first solo institutional show in London by the American conceptual artist and collagist in more than 20 years is being exhibited at the Serpentine.  The exhibition features his distinctive, concise, punchy slogans borrowed from advertising, graphic design and magazines, blown up in installations, moving image works and soundscapes throughout the gallery.  (Photo by Leon Neal/Getty Images)

“He’s an 85-year-old man who wanted to provide comfort and counseling to someone who could no longer live with the pain in his life,” Lichtman said in a phone interview Tuesday. “The end of his life, dying alone in a New York prison cell, is, frankly, disgusting.”

Lichtman said the woman was in “massive, debilitating pain” and reached out to Miller because of her work with Choice & Dignity, an advocacy group where she serves on an advisory board. Counseling with the woman lasted several months, he said, and Miller was careful not to violate any laws.

“She didn’t want to be alone. She felt sympathy for him,” Lichtman said.

Miller lost his license to practice medicine after pleading guilty to tax fraud. texas, Lichtman said. According to a news release from the Justice Department, Miller was convicted in 2006 and sentenced to just under four years in prison.

Many states allow medical aid in dying, although efforts to legalize it in New York have stalled in the state legislature.

Jim Schultz, president of Choice & Dignity, said in an email that he was saddened to hear about Miller’s arrest.

“We see Steve’s work as a compassionate presence for those who don’t want to die alone,” Schultz wrote in an email.

___ Editor’s note — This story contains discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 800-273-8255,

Copyright 2024 The associated Press, All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


Source link

Leave a Comment