Former prosecutor regrets mistrial in Kevorkian case

12:11 AM, Jun 4, 2011   |    comments
  • Judge Voet says he regrets asking for a mistrial in the Dr. Kevorkian case.
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IONIA, Mich. (WZZM)-- If he had to do it over again, former Ionia County Prosecutor Raymond Voet says he would not have asked for a mistrial 14 years ago in the Dr. Jack Kevorkian case.

"It's the only regret I have," says Voet, who is now an Ionia County Judge.

Kevorkian,also known as "Dr. Death" because of his work helping people commit suicide, died from pneumonia Friday in a Detroit hospital. He was 83 years old.

In 1997, Kevorkian went on trial in Ionia for helping 54 year old Loretta Peabody commit suicide.  Peabody suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. After inflammatory opening remarks by defense attorney Geoffrey Fieger, Voet convinced the judge to declare a mistrial.

"You know, hindsight is always 20/20," says Voet. "In retrospect, if I have a regret, it's not finishing the trial and bringing Dr. Kevorkian to a resolution in Ionia County."

Following the Ionia case, Dr. Kevorkian continued to assist patients who wanted to commit suicide.

After he shared a video tape of his help with the TV show "60 Minutes," he was convicted and imprisoned for nine years.

It's estimated Dr. Kevorkian helped 130 people die.

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