Milwaukee man facing rare assisted suicide charge

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — A rare charge of assisting suicide has been filed against a Milwaukee man who was discovered unresponsive in a hotel room where a woman was found dead.

A Facebook post by John McCormack and a call to his sister led police to a hotel near Mitchell International Airport last month, according to medical examiner reports. McCormack, 53, was found on the floor unresponsive, but was revived. A woman with whom he shared an apartment, Marlowe Marie Chapman, 29, was found dead on a bed.

McCormack left a letter to police saying he and Chapman decided to end their lives because of troubles with their living situation and her health issues, according to the records. Authorities said McCormack described in the letter how he dissolved sleeping pills into vodka and orange juice for Chapman.

"If there is an afterlife," he wrote, "I wanted it clear even though she drank it. I did all the work of melting and mixing it. I don't know if that distinction will save her soul, but she was a decent person in a world getting worse; and life constantly (expletive) on her."

McCormack's attorney, Deja Vishny, said she has never heard of a case of assisting a suicide in nearly 35 years of criminal defense work.

"There are complex psychological issues at play that have to be examined. Regardless of what happens in court, it's a very sad situation for everyone involved," Vishny told the Journal Sentinel ( ).

Assisting a suicide carries a maximum prison term of up to three years in prison and three years of extended supervision. McCormack has no prior adult criminal record and has been found competent to proceed with the case against him. He is jailed on $1,000 bail and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday.


Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,

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