Kelli Stapleton pleads guilty to lesser charge
The Benzie County woman accused of attempting to murder her autistic teenage daughter has pleaded guilty to first degree child abuse.
Stapleton had been charged with attempted murder, but Benzie County Prosecutor Sara Swanson and Stapleton's attorney – Heidi Hodek – worked out a plea deal Tuesday morning.
A trial was scheduled to begin Wednesday – exactly one year to the day after Kelli Stapleton allegedly tried to kill her 14-year old daughter in a murder-suicide attempt using carbon monoxide poisoning.
First degree child abuse carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. Stapleton is expected to be sentenced in October.