Nurse Charged With Murder After Allegedly Injecting Friend Who Wanted to Die Following Breakup
Authorities called the alleged crime "beyond disturbing"
A registered nurse from Arizona is facing a single murder charge in California for allegedly helping a friend commit suicide after a tough breakup.
According to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Kristie Jane Koepplin, 58, posted $1 million bail for her release after pleading not guilty to the murder of Matthew Peter Sokalski, 57.
The statement alleges Koepplin murdered Sokalski “by injecting him with drugs after he asked her to help him die following a breakup.”
Sokalski’s body was found April 6, 2018, inside a Mission Viejo, California, hotel room.
Koepplin lives in Peoria, Arizona, the statement notes.
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life.
“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,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “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.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Koepplin is set to return to court January 7, 2020, for a pre-trial hearing.
PEOPLE could not reach Koepplin for comment, and it was unclear Wednesday if she has retained an attorney who could do so on her behalf.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.