Nation

Mom of autistic girl pleads guilty to child abuse

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — A northern Michigan woman accused of trying to kill her autistic 14-year-old daughter after describing in an online blog the family’s struggles to raise her pleaded guilty Tuesday to first-degree child abuse.

Kelli Stapleton, 46, entered the plea the day before she was scheduled for trial in Benzie County Circuit Court on a charge of attempted murder, a year after police said she drove daughter Isabelle to an isolated spot, gave her sleep-inducing medication, and ignited charcoal in two grills inside a van, intending to kill both of them.

Advertisement

Isabelle has recovered after suffering carbon-monoxide poisoning that left her in a coma for several days, county prosecutor Sara Swanson said.

‘‘This was an extremely serious incident, which could have resulted in the death of an innocent child,’’ Swanson said. ‘‘A conviction of this felony carrying a maximum penalty of life in prison, and the prison sentence we expect it to carry, is the right resolution for the community, the defendant, and our victim, Isabelle.’’

Get Breaking News in your inbox:
Find out about important news stories as soon as they break
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Stapleton had intended to offer an insanity plea if the case had gone to trial but wanted a quicker conclusion to the case, defense attorney Heidi Hodek said.

‘‘Ultimately, Kelli didn’t want to put her family through any more,’’ Hodek said.

Associated Press

Loading comments...
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.