Murder, other counts severed in antifreeze deaths

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) _ A southwest Missouri woman accused of fatally poisoning two family members with antifreeze and nearly killing another in the same way could have two separate trials after a Greene County judge severed two murder counts from charges of assault and armed criminal action.

The Springfield News-Leader reports an attorney for 52-year-old Diane Staudte argued Tuesday that all four charges could be tried together if the state were willing to waive the death penalty. Prosecutors already have said they intend to pursue a death sentence.

Prosecutors say Staudte and her daughter Rachel Staudte poisoned their family members by putting antifreeze in their drinks.

Diane Staudte’s husband, Mark, died in 2012 and their son was found dead five months later. A daughter later suddenly became ill but survived.
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Information from: Springfield News-Leader

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