Arizona nurse accused of injecting friend with lethal drug because he asked her to help him die after bad breakup
Kristie Jane Koepplin, however, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Matthew Peter Sokalski on Tuesday, October 30
PEORIA, ARIZONA: A 58-year-old nurse from Arizona has been charged with murder after she allegedly injected her friend with lethal drugs after he asked her to help him die following a breakup.
The nurse, identified as Kristie Jane Koepplin, however, pleaded not guilty to the murder of Matthew Peter Sokalski on Tuesday, October 30, after she was arrested in Maricopa County, Arizona on October 15.
An investigation into Sokalski's death was initiated by the Orange County Sheriff's Department after his body was found inside a room of a Mission Viejo hotel by hotel staff on April 6, 2018, according to a local news outlet WTHR.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer released a statement about the case, saying: "California's right to die law strictly governs the conditions under which terminally ill adult patients with the capacity to make medical decisions can be prescribed an aid-in-dying medication."
"That was not the case here. It is beyond disturbing that someone who is trained as a nurse to aid the sick and the dying would twist their duty to willingly end the life of another human being," the district attorney added.
According to court documents, Koepplin was arrested in the driveway of her home earlier this month. She has reportedly been charged with one felony count of murder and is scheduled to return to court for a pre-trial hearing on January 7, 2020.
If found guilty, the 58-year-old faces a maximum prison sentence of 25 years to life, the outlet reported. Koepplin was released from custody after she posted $1 million bail, according to the district attorney's office.
The state of California has a right to die law, however, the particular legislation is only applicable for patients with terminal illnesses who are mentally sound enough to make medical decisions for themselves.