New trial date set for mother of autistic girl

In a photo provided by the Benzie County Sheriff, Kelli Stapleton is shown in a booking photo. (AP Photo/Benzie County Sheriff, HOPD)

BEULAH, Mich. (AP) — A trial for a northern Michigan woman accused of trying to kill her autistic daughter has been postponed.

Kelli Stapleton had been scheduled to go on trial Wednesday in Benzie County on a charge of attempted murder. During a status hearing Tuesday in Beulah, Judge James Batzer reset it for Sept. 3.

Stapleton is accused of trying to kill herself and her 14-year-old daughter Isabelle by igniting charcoal in two grills inside a van in September 2013.

She’s been found mentally fit to stand trial.

The family is well-known in their small community of Elberta, which is near Lake Michigan and about 150 miles northwest of Grand Rapids.

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

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