Saturday, September 13, 2014

Man admits killing mother as part of an assisted suicide pact

MONTICELLO - Andrew Moore broke down in tears Thursday in Sullivan County Court as he pleaded guilty to fatally strangling his mother as part of an assisted suicide pact.

Moore will face a maximum sentence of five to 15 years behind bars in the plea bargain agreement. In return, he pleaded guilty to a second-degree manslaughter charge for assisting his mother, Margaret "Peggy" Regalia of Bloomingburg, in committing suicide in January.

Judge Frank LaBuda posed one last question before Moore was taken away in handcuffs.

"So, you strangled the last breath out of your mother with your hands?"

"Yes," Moore said as he began to cry.

Regalia was found dead in a house on Nashopa Road in Bloomingburg after her daughter Jennifer and Mike Panet, Jennifer's husband, asked police to check the house when the ShopRite in Montgomery, where Regalia worked, notified them she had missed two days of work.

District Attorney James Farrell said Moore and his mother had a "suicide agreement," to which Moore had confessed when he was initially arrested. Farrell said the investigation confirmed that.

Farrell said Moore, 29 when he strangled his mother, was "very troubled," but his remorse did not appear to be fake.

"The fact he has remorse is a good thing," Farrell said. "But he still has to held accountable for his actions and for taking her life. And he'll have to live with what he did for the rest of his days."

Moore is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 18.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ex-Navy sailor from Willits convicted in assisted suicide

Paul Stephen Bricker, 27, had pleaded guilty April 4 to voluntary manslaughter in the July 2009 death of Gerard Curran in Virginia Beach. Bricker, a petty officer second class at the time, testified that Curran said he was ill and asked him to help him commit suicide and make it appear to be a homicide so his family would receive Navy death benefits, the newspaper reported.

Curran, 45, who was having marital and alcohol-related problems, previously had attempted to stab himself in the chest, the Virginian-Pilot reported.

On the day of his death, he choked himself with a yellow physical therapy band. When he passed out, Bricker stabbed him in the chest.

Bricker was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison, but the judge suspended five, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Cavilier Daily, "Legally Bound"

Published October 14, 2011.

I am the coordinator of Montanans Against Assisted Suicide & For Living with Dignity. I disagree with Alex Yahanda that assisted suicide is legal in Montana (“The grateful dead,” Oct. 13). A bill that would have legalized assisted suicide in Montana was defeated this last legislative session. Legal assisted suicide is, regardless, a recipe for abuse.

Montana has been targeted for legalization by the Denver-based suicide promotion organization Compassion & Choices, formerly known as the Hemlock Society. In 2007, Compassion & Choices initiated litigation which ultimately resulted in the Baxter decision issued on December 31, 2009. Baxter gives doctors, and only doctors, a potential defense to criminal prosecution for causing or assisting a suicide. Assisted suicide is not “legalized” by giving doctors or anyone else criminal or civil immunity.

In 2011, Compassion & Choices tried again, by backing a bill in our legislature. This bill, SB 167, would have legalized assisted suicide in Montana, but failed.

During a debate on SB 167, its sponsor State Senator Anders Blewett, a lawyer, conceded that the Baxter decision allows a doctor to be prosecuted for assisting a suicide. He said: “[U]nder the current law … there’s nothing to protect the doctor from prosecution.” Similar statements were made by others. For example, Dr. Stephen Speckart testified that “most physicians feel significant dis-ease with the limited safeguards and possible risk of criminal prosecution after the Baxter decision.”

To view transcript excerpts, go to

Legal assisted suicide is a recipe for elder abuse. For example, according to the legalization bill proposed by Compassion & Choices, there would be no witnesses required at the death. Without disinterested witnesses, an opportunity would be created for an heir or someone else who would benefit from the death to administer the lethal dose to the patient without his consent. Even if he struggled, who would know?

Other problems with assisted suicide are discussed in our talking points. These problems include the “Barbara Wagner” scenario in which patients can be steered to suicide by health care providers. For Wagner, this included a government health plan. Other problems are suicide contagion and the pesky issue that people targeted through these laws are not necessarily dying any time soon.

To view our talking points, please go to

Bradley D. Williams
Coordinator, Montanans Against Assisted Suicide & For Living with Dignity

Note from the editors: On December 31, 2009, the Montana Supreme Court decided the case of Baxter v. Montana. The ruling found there was “nothing in Montana Supreme Court precedent or Montana statutes indicating that physician aid in dying is against public policy.”

The Cavlier Daily: "Law, not choice"

By Margaret Dore on October 14, 2011

I am an attorney in Washington state, where assisted suicide is legal. I am also president of Choice is an Illusion, a nonprofit corporation opposed to assisted suicide. Contrary to Alex Yahanda’s article, “
The grateful dead” (Oct. 13), assisted suicide is only legal in two states: Oregon and Washington. He also leaves off its multiple problems such as elder abuse.

Last March, I did a legal analysis of two assisted suicide bills that were pending in the Vermont legislature. I had previously analyzed two similar bills introduced in 2009. None of these bills assured patient choice.

To view my most recent analysis, go to To view my prior analysis, see “Physician-Assisted Suicide: A Recipe for Elder Abuse and the Illusion of Personal Choice,” in the Winter 2011 edition of the Vermont Bar Journal, which is available at .
Margaret Dore
President, Choice is an Illusion