Update provided regarding progress of murder case


A brief update on the progress of the murder case against Michael C.R. Stapleton was provided Wednesday during a court hearing.

Stapleton, 25, is charged with three counts of murder and other felony charges in connection with the Nov. 29, 2015, death of 4-year-old Brett Jaynes II.

On Wednesday, Stapleton’s attorney, Christopher M. Bucci, informed the court that he had received additional supplemental discovery since the Jan. 19 status conference. He added he is seeking medical professionals who would speak on behalf of the defense if the case goes to trial.

Bucci said a meeting with Champaign County Prosecutor Kevin Talebi is scheduled and that this would provide a better idea of where the case is headed.

No new information was provided to the court by Talebi during Wednesday’s hearing.

The next status conference was scheduled for March 25. Judge Nick Selvaggio reiterated Wednesday that the status conferences are to make sure the case is moving along and to bring up any issues before the court.

In January, Stapleton waived his right to a speedy trial and trial dates in the case were moved from February to June 6 through 10.

On the date of Jaynes’ death, the Champaign County Dispatch Center received a 911 call from Stapleton at 254 Gunn St., North Lewisburg, stating the child was non-responsive and experiencing labored breathing.

Following Jaynes’ death, bruises were observed on the head, face, abdomen, buttocks and legs of the child. A medical examiner made the preliminary conclusion that the cause of death was homicide as a result of a hemorrhage due to blunt force trauma to the abdomen and the head, causing internal bleeding.

If convicted, each murder charge against Stapleton holds an indefinite term of 15 years to life in prison.


By Nick Walton

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Nick Walton can be reached at 937-652-1331 Ext. 1777 or on Twitter @UDCWalton.

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