Woman pleads guilty to poisoning father, brother with antifreeze; will testify against mother



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A Springfield woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to helping her mother poison and kill her father and brother with antifreeze.
Rachel E. Staudte, 24, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder, one count of armed criminal action and one cont of first-degree assault. As part of a deal with prosecutors, she agreed to serve two life sentences and testify against her mother.
According to a probable cause statement, Rachel and Diane Staudte put antifreeze in the drinks of Mark, Shaun and Sarah Staudte.

Mark and Shaun died as a result of the poisoning, and Sarah — Rachel's sister — survived.

Conference, including the verses in a chilling poem that was found in Rachel Staudte's purse when she was arrested.
The poem ended with the line, "Only the quiet ones will be left, my mother, my little sister and me."
Patterson said he was glad to have Rachel Staudte's case resolved and he is now looking ahead to Diane Staudte's trial.
As part of the plea agreement, Rachel Staudte agreed to serve two concurrent life sentences on the murder charges and two concurrent 20-year sentences on the other charges.
The 20-year sentences will run consecutive to the life sentences.

Staudte was originally charged with two counts of first-degree murder, but the charges were dropped to second-degree murder in exchange for her guilty plea and her testimony at her mother's trial in November.
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 plea agreement says that Rachel did not want to poison Shaun and Sarah, but she did so because of her mother's instructions.
Rachel Staudte remained composed through most of Tuesday's pre-trial conference, but her voice quivered and she broke down in tears as she formally pleaded guilty to the charges.
Rachel Staudte's attorney, Rodney Hackathorn, declined to comment for this report.

Mark Staudte 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 murder.
Prosecutors have said they intend to seek the death penalty in Diane Staudte's case.
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