In July, the body of a 10-year-old boy was found in a garbage can. On Thursday, his mother – who faces felony charges in what officials say was an accidental death – appeared in court.
Sushi Staples, who will be 38 next week, appeared with her lawyer, Chicago defense attorney William Wolf, for a preliminary hearing in Rock Island County Court.
Rock Island Police Detective John Shappard testified that the body of Zion Staples was found in a garbage can after someone called police to tell them the boy was dead and that Staples was keeping his body in the basement.
Officers spoke with Sushi Staples, who at first said she did not have a son.
She said “her ex-husband was harassing her and that’s most likely where this was coming from,” Shappard testified Staples told police.
Later, Shappard testified, Staples said she paid someone $500 to make a Social Security card and birth certificate so she could claim benefits.
“She said several times she did not have a son,” Shappard testified.
Finally, two of Staples’ other four children said Zion was playing with a handgun and accidentally shot himself.
Eventually Staples said she had moved Zion’s body, which was discovered in the garbage can. She moved him from the basement to the garage about two months prior to July “because she didn’t want her other four children to locate him in the basement,” Shappard said.
“In every vent of the house, there was dryer sheets,” Shappard testified.
He said an autopsy revealed Zion died from a gunshot wound, and that his death was accidental.
Staples faces charges of obstruction of justice/destroy evidence, failure to report the death of a child under 13/24 hours and conceal death/move a body, according to court records.
The case for Staples, who is being held on $500,000 bond – 10% applies – in Rock Island County Jail, is set to continue with pretrial conferences on Oct. 27 in Rock Island County Court. Staples demands a jury trial.