CBSN

March Trial Set For Kevorkian

Dr. Jack Kevorkian's lawyers entered innocent pleas on charges of first-degree murder, criminal assistance of a suicide, and delivery of a controlled substance at his arraignment in front of Oakland County Circuit Judge Jessica Cooper Wednesday.

Kevorkian remains free on $750,000 bond. His first-degree murder trial has been set for March 1.

The 70-year-old assisted suicide advocate was charged after videotaping the September 17 death by injection of Thomas Youk, 52, of Oakland County's Waterford Township. Youk was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease.

Kevorkian, who claims to have assisted in about 130 suicides, gave the videotape to the CBS program 60 Minutes, which aired portions of it to a nationwide audience last month. In the same show, Kevorkian dared prosecutors to charge him in connection with Youk's death.

The trial will be the first Kevorkian has faced on a first-degree murder charge, which carries a penalty of life in prison. It's also the first time anyone has been charged under Michigan's new anti-assisted suicide statute, which went into effect September 1.

Kevorkian told 60 Minutes that if he was convicted he would starve himself to death in jail.