Band Vows: Suicide Will Go On

Hell On Earth Huanted Tour poster gavel court AP/hellonearth.net

The leader of a band called Hell on Earth said Saturday he would defy threats of criminal charges and hold an Internet-broadcast concert featuring the suicide of a terminally ill fan.

Billy Tourtelot said in a phone interview that the concert and suicide would take place Saturday night in two separate, undisclosed locations in St. Petersburg. He wouldn't give any details about the venues but said the band would broadcast the events on its Web page.

Tourtelot's announcement of the plan last month led the city to ban the event with an ordinance and prompted a judge to issue an injunction against it.

Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist has said that anyone who assists in a suicide could be charged with a felony and face up to 15 years in prison.

The person threatening suicide has said he is dying and wants to promote his right-to-die views. Tourtelot, 33, said he was standing up for what he believed in to grant his friend his dying wish.

"There's nothing bad about that. It's giving the right to die with human dignity and compassion for those that we love," he said.

Kevin Hayslett, an attorney for Tourtelot, said the band leader wanted to go ahead with the show despite the lawyer's advice that he not do so.

Tourtelot said the opposition only helped the band promote the concert. "I think they wasted a lot of people's tax dollars," he said.

Neither city officials nor a police spokesman returned phone messages Saturday.

Jason Trindade, the operator of a San Diego-based technology company that hosts the band's Web site, said he would continue serving the site and carry the concert until he receives complaints from law enforcement officials to shut it down.

"They haven't broken any law and I can't just turn them off," he said. "Myself, I think it's pretty twisted."
  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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