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Caregiver faces trial in assisted suicide case


Caregiver faces trial in assisted suicide case
By Mike Hoeft

A Green Bay woman who told police she helped a terminally ill man kill himself waived her right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday and was ordered to stand trial for assisting a suicide.

Donna A. Trautman, 59, came forward May 14 and told police she smothered Ray Krerowicz with a pillow in the early morning of April 23.

Krerowicz , 66, Green Bay, was unable to speak or hear and was suffering from prostate cancer.

Trautman, his caregiver, could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of the felony. Trautman’s waiver did little to lessen the pain for Krerowicz’s family.

She had no right to do what she did, said the victim;s sister, Lorraine Curtis of Green Bay, after the hearing. There’s no way he wanted to die. He was too sick to write.

Brown County District Attorney John Zakowski said it’s too early to tell if the case will go to trial.

We hope to resolve it short of trial for the family’s sake, Zakowski said.

Zakowski said Trautman called the family and related to them how Krerowicz said he wanted to die and asked what she should do.

It’s a confession case, Zakowski said. Frankly, without her statement we wouldn’t be here.

Trautman, who uses a wheelchair, was accompanied to court by her defense lawyer, Michael Hanna. She remains free on bond. She is set to enter a plea Aug. 24 before Brown County Circuit Judge Donald Zuidmulder.

Prosecutors said they will not seek maximum punishment because Trautman cooperated with police and did not appear to be motivated by monetary gain.