Suicide kit maker, 93, gets probation

2012-05-08 10:00

San Diego - A 93-year-old woman who made headlines by selling suicide kits from her California home was placed on five years of supervised probation on Monday and ordered to pay a $1 000 fine for a tax-related offense stemming from her mail-order business.

Sharlotte Hydorn, a great-grandmother and retired science teacher, pleaded guilty in December to a misdemeanour charge of failing to file federal income tax returns from 2007 through 2010, a period during which investigators said at least seven customers used her kits to kill themselves.

Prosecutors said Hydorn sold about 1 300 of the do-it-yourself asphyxiation hoods during those years but agreed to stop making or selling the kits as part of her plea deal. She was sentenced by a federal judge in San Diego.