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Lawyers for mother of autistic girl want off case

August 27, 2014
Associated Press

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) — Lawyers representing a northern Michigan woman accused of trying to kill her autistic daughter have asked to withdraw from the case.

But the Traverse City Record-Eagle says ( ) a judge denied the request on Tuesday.

Kelli Stapleton is scheduled to stand trial Sept. 3 in Benzie County Circuit Court.

Defense lawyers Heidi Hodek and Brian Johnson cited a "complete breakdown" in their relationship with Stapleton. They sought to withdraw as her attorneys, but Judge James Batzer wouldn't allow it.

Authorities say the 46-year-old Elberta woman tried to kill herself and her teenage daughter last year by igniting two charcoal grills inside a van.

Stapleton's blog had chronicled the challenges her family faced caring for her daughter, who has severe autism and sometimes had violent outbursts.


Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle,



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