Stapleton Hearing Allows Criminal Responsibility Evaluation - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Stapleton Hearing Allows Criminal Responsibility Evaluation

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A Benzie County woman was back in court Tuesday.

Kelli Stapleton's attorneys filed a notice of insanity, which questions her mental state at the time police say she tried to kill herself and her daughter.  

It's a story we've been following every step of the way since police found Kelli Stapleton and her daughter unconscious in the family's van.

They were found near Elberta September 3rd.

Police say they were unconscious from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.

There were two charcoal grills burning inside the van.

Kelli Stapleton was arrested and charged with the attempted murder of her 14-year-old daughter Issy, who is autistic.

Stapleton has remained in jail since the incident, and a trial has been set for April.

Judge Batzer says the defense requested a criminal responsibility exam. The prosecutor did not object, so the judge signed an order to allow the evaluation.

 The State Forensic Department will conduct the mental exam. It is the same department that in December, deemed Stapleton mentally competent to stand trial.

A date for the criminal responsibility exam has not been set.

9&10's Marisa McKay and photojournalist Jeremy Erickson take you inside the courtroom.