Missouri Woman Sentenced to at Least 42 Years for Helping Her Mom Poison Their Family

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A Missouri woman won’t be eligible parole for at least 42 and a half years after being sentenced to two life prison terms plus 20 years for helping kill her father and brother by poisoning them with antifreeze back in 2012.

Rachel Staudte (above, left) and her mother, Diane Staudte (above, right), poisoned three family members by putting antifreeze in their drinks in 2012.

The 25-year-old daughter admitted to poisoning her father, 61-year-old Mark Staudte, who died in April of 2012 and her brother, 26-year-old Shaun Staudte, who died five months later.

Rachel was sentenced Tuesday.

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She pleaded guilty last May to two counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault.

Her mother pleaded guilty to two counts of murder back in January and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The duo almost got away with murder because of the unique way in which they killed their family members.

The third family member that the two poisoned was Rachel’s sister, 27-year-old Sarah Staudte, who survived being poisoned, but suffered serious brain damage.

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Mark Staudte

For more than a year, the murders went undetected and by police and medical examiners, because the deaths were classified as “due to natural causes” by the Greene County Medical Examiner’s Office.

It wasn’t until a pastor made an anonymous call to authorities when police started looking a little deeper.

When Sarah was hospitalized in June of 2013, the family’s pastor came forward and told police that Diane was responsible for her sickness, as well as for the deaths of her husband and son.

She now has a guardian and lives in an assisted living facility.

In a statement that she read in court, she said she forgave her mother during her testimony in January.

“Not only she took away my dad and brother, she also took away my livelihood and my independence. I prefer to be a survivor than a victim,” it read.

Diane and Rachel Staudte were both charged with murder in 2013, and prosecutors said they believe Diane Staudte planned the murders, but needed her daughter’s help.

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Shaun Staudte

Diane Staudte told investigators that 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 to poisoning her daughter over four days because “she wouldn’t get a job and had student loans that had to be paid”.

A third daughter in the family, aged 11 at the time of the charges, wasn’t harmed and was placed into foster care.

Diane entered an Alford plea, which is essentially maintaining innocence, but knowing they can’t win the case, so pleading guilty.

She claimed she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder and didn’t have full memory of the events.

At the sentencing hearing on Tuesday, Sarah told the court that she’s forgiven her sister.

Rachel said that “despite the bad, there are those who forgive”.

She also apologized for participating in the murders instead of standing up to her mother. She said that she was scared, “…but being scared is no excuse”.

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Sarah Staudte

 

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