Kevorkian Released From Jail

Dr. Jack Kevorkian and an associate were released from a suburban Detroit jail Friday after being arraigned on charges that included assaulting an officer and resisting arrest.

Police say Kevorkian and another doctor were arrested Thursday evening after scuffling with officers outside a hospital in Royal Oak. They had gone there with the body of a dead man.

Kevorkian and Dr. Georges Reding took the body of a 26-year-old man to William Beaumont Hospital in the Detroit suburb of Royal Oak, hospital spokeswoman Collette Stimmell said.

Kevorkian told hospital officials that the dead man had been a "traumatic quadriplegic," and a resident of Aptos, Calif. He was pronounced dead at 10:34 p.m. and his body was taken to the county medical examiner's office. The man's name was being withheld pending notification of relatives.

Two police officers recognized Kevorkian and saw a motionless body in the back of the doctor's car.

A police statement said that the officers approached Kevorkian, who then allegedly "charged at one of the officers and pushed him several times in an attempt to enter the vehicle and leave...Kevorkian persisted in his assault and had to be physically subdued and arrested."

Kevorkian and Reding refused to answer questions at their arraignment Friday morning. Kevorkian was brought into the courtroom in a wheelchair, apparently because the retired pathologist refused to go voluntarily, deputy city attorney Dave Gillam said.

Judge Terrence Brennan ordered Kevorkian and Reding to cooperate with the police booking process as part of their bail conditions. Both men were taken back into the police station for fingerprinting and mug shots after the arraignment.

Kevorkian continued to resist the booking process, but police told him to leave anyway. He then sat on a couch outside the police office and waited for Reding, who was released about 30 minutes later. Reding cooperated with the booking process, police said. The two left the police station about an hour after the arraignment ended.

It was the first time since November 1996 that Kevorkian, who has acknowledged attending more than 100 deaths, was arrested on any charge, according to the Associated Press. He has been acquitted in three trials involving five deaths and went free after a mistrial.

Kevorkian was last arrested on Nov. 7, 1996, outside an Oakland County pawn shop on charges stemming from the death of Loretta Peabody, a multiple sclerosis patient from Ionia County, three months earlier. He was released on personal bond later that day.

Kevorkian was charged in Ionia County, 100 miles west of Detroit, with assisting Peabody's suicide and practicing medicine without a license. Circuit Judge Charles Miel declared a mistrial June 12, 1997, saying the jury might have been tainted by defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger's incendiary opening statement.