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Suicide machine inventor Dr. Jack Kevorkian was indicted on murder charges and arrested Wednesday morning in the deaths of two seriously ill women who used his machines last year, authorities said.

A grand jury on Monday indicted Kevorkian on two counts of murder and one count of delivery of a controlled substance, Oakland County Prosecutor Richard Thompson said at a news conference.Thompson said Kevorkian, an outspoken advocate of doctor-assisted suicide for the seriously ill, was arrested at about 9:45 a.m. Wednesday near his Royal Oak home. He was to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.

The charges stem from the Oct. 23 deaths of Sherry Miller, 43, of Roseville and Marjorie Wantz, 58, of Sodus, Thompson said.

The charges of murder were an "open," meaning the degree was not specified. If Kevorkian, 63, is convicted of first-degree murder, he could face a mandatory penalty of life imprisonment without possibility of parole. The drug charge carries a top sentence of two years' imprisonment.

The announcement of the indictments was delayed until after Kevorkian's arrest, Thompson said.

Miller and Wantz were found dead in a cabin north of Detroit, hooked to devices invented by Kevorkian. Both suffered from chronic but not terminal illnesses. A medical examiner has declared the deaths homicides, not suicides.

In 1990, Kevorkian helped Alzheimer's disease patient Janet Adkins of Portland, Ore., inject herself with a fatal dose of drugs. Thompson brought a first-degree murder charge in that case, but it was dismissed in December 1990 by a judge who ruled Michigan had no laws against assisted suicide.

No change has been made in state law on the matter.