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Kelli Stapleton Waives Preliminary Exam

Kelli Stapleton made a brief appearance in Benzie County District Court today. Stapleton waived her right to a preliminary exam, which allows a felony charge of attempted murder to be bound over to Circuit Court.

The Elberta mother stands accused of a murder-suicide attempt. She remains behind bars. Her autistic daughter, Issy Stapleton, recovers from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Kelli Stapleton’s attorney also asked the court to reduce bond today, calling the current amount "excessive."

“She is not a flight risk,” said Attorney Heidi Hodek. “She is not a risk to herself or anyone else at this point in time. She has ties to the community and people who are willing to take her in.”

Hodek also said Stapleton is willing to wear an electronic tether.

But Judge John Mead said something in earlier proceedings had made him uneasy and he does worry Stapleton could be a flight risk.

“I need to make sure that it’s worth her time, or anybody would bail her out’s time, to make sure she shows up at court,” he said.

Bond remains at $1.5 million dollars.

Stapleton’s attorneys plan to ask again for a bond reduction when the case moves to circuit court. For now, Stapleton will likely remain behind bars.