PA Files Intent to Seek Death Penalty in Diane Staudte Trial

By KOLR10 News

Published 04/23 2014 04:05PM

Updated 04/23 2014 06:02PM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson has filed a notice of intent to seek the death penalty in the case of Diane Staudte, accused of killing members of her family with antifreeze.

Prosecutors believe the woman, along with her daughter Rachel Staudte, laced drinks with antifreeze and caused the deaths of Diane’s husband mark, and her son Shaun. The two died several months apart in 2012.

The women are also charged with assault for poisoning another daughter, who survived.

According to court documents, Patterson says the intent to seek the death penalty follows several circumstances.

Court documents say Diane Staudte committed the murder for “the purpose of receiving money or any other thing of monetary value from the victim of the murder.”

Staudte also “directed another to commit murder in the first degree,” her daughter Rachel.

A third circumstance says the murder was “outrageously or wantonly vile, horrible or inhumane in that it involved torture or depravity of mind.”

Rachel Staudte appeared in court for a pre-trial conference Wednesday morning, and a continuance has been scheduled for June 24 at 9:30 a.m. At this time, no notice of intent to seek the death penalty has been filed in her case.

Diane Staudte is set to appear in court on a continuance for her pretrial conference on May 28 at 1:30 p.m.

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