74
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      Kelli Stapleton pleads guilty to child abuse

      The Benzie County woman, who is accused of attempting to kill herself and her 14-year-old daughter with autism, has pled guilty to 1st degree child abuse on Tuesday.

      The Benzie County woman, who is accused of attempting to kill herself and her 14-year-old daughter with autism, pled guilty to 1st degree child abuse on Tuesday.

      Kelli Stapleton faces a possible life sentence. Stapleton's sentencing date is scheduled for Oct. 6 in Benzie County.

      Stapleton was facing an attempted murder charge after closing herself and her daughter in the family van with two lit charcoal grills last September. That attempted murder charge has been dropped.

      The Benzie County Prosecuting Attorney, Sara Swanson says she was prepared to go forward with trial that was expected to last 10 days. Tuesday morning, Swanson and Stapleton's attorney agreed to resolve the case by a plea of first degree child abuse on behalf of her client.

      "This was an extremely serious incident which could have resulted in the death of an innocent child," said Swanson. "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."