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Crime & Courts

Psychologist: Michigan woman charged in poisoning of autistic daughter is competent for trial

A state psychologist says a northern Michigan mother charged with attempted murder in the carbon monoxide poisoning of her autistic 14-year-old daughter is competent to stand trial.

Kelli Stapleton's defense requested the review by the state forensic center. Defense lawyer Heidi Hodek tells the Traverse City Record-Eagle ( ) she didn't find the result surprising, based on her conversations with Stapleton.

A judge is to review the findings Thursday afternoon in Benzie County District Court in Beulah.

Stapleton and her daughter, Isabelle, were found unconscious Sept. 3 in the family's van in Blaine Township in what authorities described as an attempted murder-suicide.

The family lives in Elberta, west of Traverse City. Kelli Stapleton had chronicled in an online blog the challenges her family faced caring for Isabelle who has severe autism.


Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle,

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