Mom Kelli Stapleton Tried Killing Her Autistic Daughter Isabelle With A Failed Murder-Suicide

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Normal Mom Kelli Stapleton Tried Killing Her Autistic Daughter Isabelle With A Failed Murder-Suicide

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:35 pm

Sept. 6, 2013


In a photo provided by the Benzie County Sheriff, Kelli Stapleton is shown in a booking photo. The woman accused of trying to kill her autistic daughter in a murder-suicide is locked up without bail in a northern Michigan jail. Stapleton appeared in a Benzie County court Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013 after being released from a hospital. State police say Stapleton and her 14-year-old daughter Isabelle were found unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning in a van Tuesday.

BEULAH, Mich. — A Michigan woman accused of trying to kill herself and her severely autistic daughter blogged that day about how desperate she was feeling.
"I have to admit that I'm suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue," Kelli Stapleton wrote Tuesday on her blog, The Status Woe, where she chronicled the challenges of raising her 14-year-old daughter, Isabelle, who sometimes had violent outbursts.

Stapleton, 45, and Isabelle were found unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning that day in a van in which charcoal was burned with the windows all closed. Isabelle remained in critical condition Friday at a Grand Rapids hospital, her father Matt Stapleton said in an email to news outlets.

Kelli Stapleton appeared in court Thursday, where she was ordered to remain in jail without bail on an attempted murder charge. Her attorney, Anthony Cicchelli, declined to comment.

The family is well-known in their small community of Elberta, which is near Lake Michigan and about 150 miles northwest of Grand Rapids. Matt Stapleton is the principal and football coach at nearby Frankfort High School, and local news outlets have reported about him and his wife's challenges in raising Issy, as Isabelle is called.

"It's really early in the investigation. ... It's safe to call it shocking and tragic, definitely," prosecutor Sara Swanson said Friday. "Everyone is focused on hoping the child does well and pulls out of this. That's where the focus is now."

It was Matt Stapleton who reported he was worried about his wife and daughter after getting a phone message from Kelli and finding their van was gone from their home, authorities said.

On her blog, Kelli Stapleton wrote that Issy had completed an intense program for severely autistic children near Kalamazoo, but her education plan had been abruptly changed by school officials.
"I am devastated. My husband is gutted," she wrote.

Some parents of autistic children expressed empathy in interviews with the Traverse City Record-Eagle.

"I don't judge her, and it was absolutely not the way to handle it," said Sherry Ginn Richards of Interlochen.
"But when you get to that point, you can't think rationally. My heart goes out to them because I've been there, and I know what it felt like," she said.


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Last edited by NiteSpinR on Fri May 09, 2014 11:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Normal Re: Mom Kelli Stapleton Tried Killing Her Autistic Daughter Isabelle With A Failed Murder-Suicide

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:41 pm

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Normal Trial Set To Begin July 16, 2014

Post by NiteSpinR on Fri May 09, 2014 11:45 pm

05/06/2014

A judge has set a summer trial for a northern Michigan woman accused of trying to kill her autistic daughter with carbon monoxide.

Benzie County Judge James Batzer set the trial for July 16, although the date could change depending on his docket.

Kelli Stapleton is charged with attempted murder. She's accused of trying to kill herself and her 14-year-old daughter Isabelle by igniting charcoal in two grills inside a van last September.

Stapleton has been found mentally fit to stand trial. There's also another report on her state of mind at the time of the alleged crime, although her attorney is seeking another evaluation.

Stapleton regularly wrote about the difficulties of raising an autistic daughter on a blog called The Status Woe.

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Normal Kelli Stapleton Sentenced To 22 Years In Prison With A Minimum Of 10 Years

Post by NiteSpinR on Sat Feb 14, 2015 9:25 pm

October 08, 2014

BENZIE COUNTY, MI -- Kelli Stapleton, the mother who tried to kill herself and her violent, autistic daughter by carbon monoxide poisoning, has been sentenced to 10 to 22 years in prison.

Stapleton, 46, was sentenced Wednesday, Oct. 8, following a three-day hearing in Benzie County Circuit Court. She earlier pleaded guilty to first-degree child abuse.

Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Swanson issued the following statement:

“My office strives to protect our most vulnerable victims,” she said. “In this case, Isabelle’s autism did not mean she deserved less protection. Her life has value, and she deserves justice for the attempt on her life. The right outcome was achieved in this case. The defendant was sentenced as recommended by our state’s sentencing guidelines, and justice was obtained for Isabelle.”

Stapleton's case has gained national attention. She was recently featured on "The Dr. Phil Show."

The case pitted those who believe Stapleton was overwhelmed by her 14-year-old daughter Issy's autism, and those who believed she just wanted to be rid of the troubled girl.

Stapleton on Sept. 3, 2013 lit charcoal grills in a van on a supposed camping trip. She said it was an attempt to end both of their lives because she was at her "wit's end."

A Benzie County sheriff's deputy discovered the mother and daughter, however, and rescued them from the van.

Isabelle, who goes by Issy, was in a coma for several days but recovered.

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