|Kelli Stapleton at her sentencing hearing on Wednesday. (source)|
Well, good news! She's been found guilty and has been sentenced to a hefty time in jail.
A judge Wednesday sentenced the mother of an autistic Michigan teenager to 10 to 22 years in prison in the defendant described as a failed murder-suicide attempt brought on by despair, after years of violent attacks by the child and failure to find affordable and effective treatment.I hope she, along with other parents, will learn the lesson that having an autistic child is no excuse to kill them! Please, if this crosses anyone's mind, call child services and tell them. Call the police. Call the newspaper. Do whatever it takes, but do not kill your child. I know it sounds heartless, but if you kill yourself, do not kill your child too.
Kelli Rai Stapleton, 46, pleaded guilty last month to first-degree child abuse in a bargain with prosecutors who dismissed an attempted murder charge. She admitted driving her daughter Isabelle to an isolated spot in rural Benzie County, giving her a sleep-inducing drug and placing two charcoal-burning grills inside their van.Her 15 yr old daughter was in a coma for days, but she's awake and still alive now.
Stapleton wrote in the summer of 2013 that her daughter, nicknamed Issy, had gone through an intense program for severely autistic children near Kalamazoo. But Stapleton said she was "suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue" after the insurance company stopped paying for the treatment and local school officials changed Issy's education plan.Ah, religion. Are murder and suicide not rather severe sins in Christianity? I mean, her daughter would likely pass right on through the gates... but mom?
She later told authorities she had concluded the best solution would be if she and her daughter "went to heaven."
Ari Ne'eman, president of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, argued previously for sentencing Stapleton "the same way a mother of a non-disabled child would be sentenced for a comparable crime" and said lenient treatment would encourage copycat crimes.Agreed. Murder is illegal and carries certain penalties in the penal system. If we start going easy on people because their children are autistic then we are effectively declaring that autistics are less than human.
Listen, I'm all for more safeguards and social services put into place to help parents deal with challenging situations arising from their autistic children. This involves both help for the children and the parents. However, the final responsibility for caring for -- not killing! -- children rests with the parents, always. If they are unable to cope then the responsible thing to do is to surrender the children to relatives or the state, not kill them.