SPRINGFIELD, Missouri — Attorneys for a southwestern Missouri woman accused of fatally poisoning her husband and a son with antifreeze are asking a judge to toss out her videotaped statements to investigators.
Diane Staudte appeared in a Greene County courtroom Thursday for a hearing over her contention that statements she made to a detective in 2013 shouldn't be allowed as evidence at her trial because he continued to interrogate her after she asked whether she should have an attorney there. The investigator, Detective Neal McAmis, testified that Staudte never specifically requested to have an attorney present during questioning.
The judge didn't immediately decide the matter and continued the hearing to Aug. 29.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Staudte for the April 2012 death of her 61-year-old husband, Mark Staudte, and the September 2012 death of her 26-year-old son, Shawn Staudte. She also is accused of poisoning one of her daughters, Sarah Staudte, who survived.
Another of Diane Staudte's daughters, 24-year-old Rachel Staudte, pleaded guilty in May to second-degree murder and related felonies and has agreed to serve two life sentences and testify against her mother.
Diane Staudte has pleaded not guilty.
Authorities allege that Diane Staudte told investigators she poisoned her husband with antifreeze because she hated him, and that she killed her son because he was "worse than a pest." She also admitted poisoning Sarah Staudte over four days because "she would not get a job and had student loans that had to be paid," investigators said.
Greene County's medical examiner initially ruled that the husband died of natural causes and the son died as a result of prior medical issues. But an anonymous tip led authorities to re-examine the deaths after the hospitalization of Sarah Staudte, who was then 24, investigators said.
Diane Staudte admitted under questioning to poisoning her family by putting antifreeze in their soda and Gatorade over several days, authorities allege.