Traverse City Record-Eagle

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May 6, 2014

Stapleton trial date tentatively set for July 16

BEULAH -- A judge set a tentative trial date for an Elberta woman who's accused of trying to kill her autistic daughter.

Kelli Rai Stapleton, 46, appeared in 19th Circuit Court today for her first court hearing in months.

Judge James Batzer tentatively set a trial date to begin July 16, but noted another trial could cause a delay. The trial date likely won't be affected by Stapleton attorney Heidi Hodek's request for an independent criminal responsibility examination, a key step in pursuing an insanity defense.

Stapleton is charged with attempted murder after authorities said she tried to kill herself and her daughter on Sept. 3 by igniting two charcoal grills in an enclosed van.

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