Kelli Stapleton, mother who tried to kill her autistic daughter with carbon monoxide, pleads guilty

4 Sep

Isabelle “Issy” Stapleton is a human being. Worthy of respect. She is endowed with inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Being disabled does not change this. Being autistic does not change this. Having an extremely challenging life in her pursuit of happiness does not change this.

And she was almost robbed of what we in America consider “inalienable”. Her mother tried to murder Isabelle.

There are multiple news stories carrying this. Below I quote from People Magazine: Kelli Stapleton Averts Murder Trial by Pleading Guilty to Abuse of Daughter with Autism.

On the eve of her trial for attempted murder, Kelli Stapleton – the Michigan mom and former blogger on autism issues who stood accused of trying to kill her autistic teen daughter – pleaded guilty Tuesday to a felony charge of first-degree child abuse.

Kelli Stapleton, the mother, still faces the possibility of a very long prison sentence. I hope those deciding the sentence do not in any way lessen the punishment compared to if Ms. Stapleton was attempting to murder a non-disabled child.

I am very thankful that I can still say Isabelle Stapleton is a human being. Her mother failed in her murder attempt.

I wish the young Miss Stapleton well. I hope the the pursuit of happiness turns into a life of happiness.

By Matt Carey

5 Responses to “Kelli Stapleton, mother who tried to kill her autistic daughter with carbon monoxide, pleads guilty”

  1. Shannon Rosa September 4, 2014 at 05:49 #

    Thank you, Matt.

  2. Anne September 5, 2014 at 06:08 #

    Dear Matt, these stories are heartbreaking. I assume, but don’t know, that Kelli’s sentence for child abuse would be lower than a sentence for attempted murder, and that’s why she pled to the lesser charge. I clicked on your link to People Magazine and made the mistake or reading some of the comments, as many as I could before it was too much. Some of Kelli Stapleton’s friends were on there expressing outrage that anyone would “judge” her. While it was hard to read, it did make me reflect on how it would feel if a dear friend or relative did something so unthinkable. Also, I worried about some of the commenters who seem close to the edge with their own kids.

    In related news, I read a story about Francis Stack, an 82 year old man in the Chicago area who allegedly killed his wife and two adult autistic kids, and then himself, a few days ago. The next door neighbor was quoted as saying that he admired Stack for what he did. Some people view the killing of disabled people as a merciful act, a concept you address in your post after this one. This is just too hard to think about.

    • Sullivan (Matt Carey) September 5, 2014 at 16:01 #

      I read those stories after you posted this. And some of the comments. Some of the “you can’t judge this unless you’ve been a parent of a disabled child. ”

      What’s the difference between a parent saying “I can no longer care for my child so I killed him/her” and the state saying “you can no longer care for you child so we killed him/her?”

      I know those saying people can’t judge (even the disabled and parents like me who disagree ) will say “its because the parent chose”. I firmly disagree with that stance. We do not have absolute rights over our children.

      We need better supports. But we can not condone the murder of one of our own, much less three of our own. If we as parents can do this, out of some ‘mercy’ argument we are a very small step away from state sponsored murder.

      And while some parents will say ” don’t judge” most of the community disagrees.

  3. Saraquill September 6, 2014 at 02:40 #

    I’m annoyed she got a lesser sentence.

    I also hope that Isabelle doesn’t get overlooked in all this fuss, that she gets all the support she needs and deserves.


  1. Pushing my new hashtag | autismjungle - September 19, 2014

    […] charcoal fires inside the van to try and suffocate the both of them. They survived. Matt has more details. Earlier this week, a Singaporean woman was charged with murder after her autistic son fell to his […]

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