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  1. #1
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    Prosecutors Pursue Death Penalty for Diane Staudte in 2013 MO Slayings of Mark and Shawn Staudte




    Diane Staudte

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    Rachel Staudte

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    Daughter of woman charged in homicides of husband, son is also charged

    A daughter of the Springfield [Missouri] woman who was charged Friday with killing her husband and son by poisoning them with antifreeze has now been charged with murder, as well, according to a news release from the Greene County prosecuting attorney’s office.

    Rachel E. Staudte, 22, of Springfield, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder in the death of Mark Staudte and first-degree murder in the death of Shawn Staudte. She is also charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action in connection with serious injuries suffered by Sarah Staudte. These events occurred between April 8, 2012, and June 12, 2013, the news release said.

    Rachel Staudte’s mother, 50-year-old Diane Staudte, was charged Friday in the case. According to a probable cause statement, police received an anonymous call June 11 that Diane Staudte was possibly responsible for “two or three homicides.” The caller talked about the deaths of Staudte’s husband, Mark, and son, Shawn, and the recent hospitalization of her daughter, Sarah.

    According to the probable-cause statement regarding charges against Rachel Staudte, Diane Staudte originally told police she was the only one involved and no one else else had knowledge of the events. As the investigation continued, the detective obtained information that another of Diane Staudte’s daughters, Rachel Staudte, was possibly involved, the document said.

    Rachel Staudte was interviewed Friday at police headquarters and denied involvement in the case, the statement said, but after being confronted with evidence she then reportedly admitted she was involved in the deaths and assault.

    During a subsequent interview, Diane Staudte then admitted that she and Rachel Staudte had planned, researched and committed the crimes together, the statement said.

    Police say Sarah Staudte is expected to live, though “she may have permanent damage from the poison,” according to the statement.

    In the case against Diane Staudte, the probable cause statement said that “eventually, she admitted that she used antifreeze to poison them all. She admitted that she researched the use of antifreeze as a poison on the Internet.”

    She said she put antifreeze in her husband’s Gatorade, and had killed him because she hated him; she said she put antifreeze in her son’s Coke because he was “worse than a pest,” and she said she poisoned her daughter because the daughter did not have a job and had student loans that had to be paid, according to the statement.

    The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Prosecuting Attorney T. Myers. It is being investigated by the Springfield Police Department.

    http://www.news-leader.com/article/2...field?gcheck=1

  2. #2
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    Women accused of fatal antifreeze poisonings appear in court

    The two women accused of poisoning their own family members with antifreeze were in Greene County Court on Tuesday.

    Diane and Rachel Staudte are accused of putting antifreeze in their family members' drinks to murder Mark and Shawn Staudte and seriously harm Sarah Staudte.

    Mark's brother, Micheal, from Texas, was in the courtroom to see the two women charged with the crimes.

    The news of murder charges against a church organist and her bright, creative daughter came in June, as Sarah Staudte clung to life after consuming antifreeze, allegedly hidden in her drinks.

    Michael Staudte learned in an e-mail that his brother, Mark and nephew, Shaun had died by poisoning.
    "It was pretty difficult," Staudte says.

    At Tuesday's court appearance, he saw his brother's accused murderers for the first time since hearing the news. "I was never overly fond of Diane. We never really formed any kind of bond whatsoever. She had always had kind of this haughty attitude that I never understood the basis of. Rachel, I met as a child once, I think, and then at the memorial service also," Staudte says.

    Rachel appeared first before the judge, waiving her right to a preliminary hearing. Diane Staudte did the same, spending only a short time in the courtroom. "She (Diane) just seemed like she was getting ready to go sit down for dinner at a restaurant, and I don't think really grasps the magnitude of what's coming her way," Staudte says.

    The prosecutor had five witnesses ready to testify. He says it's one of the most unusual cases he's seen. "All of the facts do make it different and interesting, but with any case, we're always looking for whatever evidence we can find that would exhonerate or findů hold the person accountable if they are involved in causing someone's death," says Todd Myers, Greene County Chief Assistant Prosecutor.

    After learning of the evidence, Staudte has no doubt. "She did it? No, no, none," Staudte says.

    But he still has one big question. "Why? The whole scenario is a big why. How do you go from, pack his bags, kick him out or pack my bags and leave, to - let's murder this guy. I just don't understand that leap," says Staudte.

    Michael Staudte says his niece, 24 year old Sarah Staudte is in an assisted living facility, still under a doctor's care. The prosecutor couldn't say if she's been able to help with the investigation.

    Diane and Rachel Staudte are now scheduled for arraignment on August 16th. Whether the death penalty will be sought has not been decided, but Michael says he would prefer the sentence be life in prison.

    http://www.ky3.com/news/ky3-waived-p...,1786599.story
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  3. #3
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    Prosecutor to seek death in alleged antifreeze killings

    By Stephen Herzog, News-Leader

    In the case of a Springfield woman accused of killing her husband and son with antifreeze, prosecutors filed notice today that they intend to seek the death penalty.

    No similar filing was made in the case of Diane Staudte's daughter Rachel, who faces the same charges as her mother.

    Authorities say the two poisoned their family members by putting antifreeze in their drinks. Another daughter, Sarah Staudte, was hospitalized because of antifreeze poisoning, officials say.

    Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson's filing indicates he believes Diane Staudte's role rises to the level of a death penalty offense for three reasons.

    The filing says Diane Staudte committed murder in order to receive money or for other financial gain, caused or directed another person to commit murder, and that the alleged crime was "outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhuman in that it involved, torture, or depravity of mind."

    Diane Staudte's husband, Mark, was the first to die in 2012. Diane told authorities her husband had been sick but refused to go to the hospital. Officials initially found no evidence of foul play.

    Five months later, son Shaun Staudte was found dead. Police received an anonymous tip that Diane Staudte might have killed him. She again told officials he had been sick. After an autopsy was performed, his death was originally determined to be natural.

    In June, another anonymous call to police urged them to investigate why Sarah Staudte suddenly became ill and why her brother and father had died.

    Less than two weeks later, Diane and Rachel Staudte were each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and one count each of first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

    During a pre-trial conference today, both women had their hearings rescheduled, but only Diane's hearing included the death penalty notice.

    Diane Staudte's hearing was rescheduled to May 28, and Rachel Staudte's was set for June 24.

    A call to Diane Staudte's attorney was not immediately returned.

    In cases involving the death penalty, the office of the Missouri State Public Defender can use attorneys from a special capital defense department. That happened recently in the case of Craig Michael Wood, who is accused of kidnapping and killing 10-year-old Hailey Owens.

    There is no sign yet that the state has assigned a specially trained lawyer in Diane Staudte's case.

    http://www.news-leader.com/story/new...lings/8061131/

  4. #4
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    Attorneys want clarification in antifreeze deaths case

    An attorney specializing in defending death penalty cases is asking the court to consider several issues in the case of a woman accused of poisoning her family with antifreeze.

    Diane Staudte, 52, is facing two murder charges in connection with the death of her husband and son.

    According to prosecutors, she killed her husband because "she hated him" and her son because he was "worse than a pest." Just last month, prosecutors informed the court they'd seek the death penalty.

    Attorney Charles Moreland, part of the state's capital defense team, is now representing Staudte and on Tuesday filed six motions — including asking prosecutors to explain what "dangerous instrument" was allegedly used in the assault of Staudte's daughter, who police say was also poisoned by Staudte.

    "The accused is unable to determine what 'dangerous instrument,' as defined under the armed criminal action statute, she is alleged to have used."

    According to Missouri statutes, a dangerous instrument is any "article or substance, which, under the circumstances in which it was used, is readily capable of causing death or other serious physical injury."

    Moreland also filed a motion to conduct part of Staudte's defense out of the observation of prosecutors. He requested certain aspects of the case be kept in a sealed file until the case is closed. Particularly, he mentioned the ability of

    Staudte to have independent psychiatric examinations, to prepare for trial without "the watchful eye of the prosecutor."

    Also filed were motions to allow Staudte to appear in regular clothes for court dates, and for information on any agreements prosecutors made with witnesses.

    Staudte appeared in jail garb with her new attorney on Wednesday, when a date was set to hear all pending motions.

    Her daughter, Rachel Staudte, is also facing two murder charges, but prosecutors have not filed an intent to seek the death penalty.

    Authorities say the two poisoned their family members by putting antifreeze in their drinks. Another daughter, Sarah Staudte, was hospitalized because of antifreeze poisoning, officials say.

    Diane Staudte's husband, Mark, was the first to die in 2012. Diane told authorities her husband had been sick but refused to go to the hospital. Officials initially found no evidence of foul play.

    Five months later, son Shaun Staudte was found dead. Police received an anonymous tip that Diane Staudte might have killed him. She again told officials he had been sick. After an autopsy was performed, his death was originally determined to be natural.

    In June, another anonymous call to police urged them to investigate why Sarah Staudte suddenly became ill and why her brother and father had died.

    Less than two weeks later, Diane and Rachel Staudte were each charged with two counts of first-degree murder, and one count each of first-degree assault and armed criminal action.

    http://www.news-leader.com/story/new...-case/9693075/
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