Kelli Stapleton speaks for first time in Benzie County court
Kelli Stapleton was back in Benzie County court on Thursday, but this time she was called to the stand to testify about conversations that she had with people following the events from last September.
Throughout the motion hearing, the court heard testimony from police officers, hospital staff and child protective services employees, all who said they spoke to Stapleton following her alleged attempt at killing herself and her teenage daughter Isabelle on September 3, 2013.
However, in court on Thursday, Stapleton testified that she remembered very little, if anything, about those conversations.
â??I wasnâ??t feeling very good,â?? said Stapleton. â??I was in the intensive care unit so I just don't know.â??
It was an answer that Stapleton used frequently as she was asked questions about whether or not she remembered certain people talking with her during her stay at Munson Medical Center and Spectrum Health. She simply said that she didnâ??t know, or that she didnâ??t remember.
According to previous testimony during the hearing, Stapleton had conversations with multiple people. They said that Stapleton explained what happened that September day, and what her reasons were for her alleged decision.
On Wednesday, witnesses testified that Stapleton had said that she was upset that Isabelle, who has autism, couldn't go to the same school that her father was principal at.
"She stated that she knew that Isabelle's autism would always affect them and that she wanted her family to live a life free of autism, and then Mrs. Stapleton was also asked if she had these types of thoughts in the past, and she said it was always an option," said CPS employee Augustena Baar.
Witness testimony also showed that Stapleton had wanted her and Isabelle to wake up in heaven together.
But according to Stapletonâ??s statement on Thursday, she doesnâ??t remember having those types of conversations, or the people she had them with.
â??I know that they were there but I donâ??t remember speaking with any of them,â?? said Stapleton.
Stapleton says she does recall why she was in the hospital.
â??I was recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning,â?? said Stapleton.
Something else Stapleton remembers, a conversation she had while in jail last September with another CPS employee.
The details of the conversation were not discussed in court on Thursday, but Stapleton said that she cooperated with the employee because she says she was scared that her children would be taken away from their father, Matt Stapleton.
â??CPS is so scary,â?? Stapleton said. â??They can take away your children and I just didnâ??t want that. I just wanted to be as forthcoming and help her get through her investigation as quickly and as effortlessly as possible so Matt could go on and take care of our kids who now are dealing with this horrible event.â??
Benzie County Circuit Judge James Batzer is giving both sides a chance to review each others arguments and the transcripts from all of the testimony.
The hearing is all about deciding what witnesses and what testimony will be allowed in the trial.
Stapletonâ??s trial date is scheduled for September 3.