An Elmhurst mother accused of trying to drug her 7-year-old son to death before cutting her own throat told police she was distraught over a pending divorce and she hoped they would "join her deceased parents in heaven," prosecutors said Friday.
Cheryl Luchetta, 41, was ordered held on $300,000 bail pending trial on charges of attempted murder and aggravated battery to a child. She appeared in DuPage County bond court after more than two weeks in a hospital, where authorities said she received psychiatric treatment.
Contact information ( * required )
Assistant State's Attorney Demetri Demopoulos said Luchetta told police she "couldn't take it anymore" after her husband sought to reduce child support in exchange for allowing her to live at a condominium he owned on the 800 block of North York Road.
Following an appearance in divorce court on June 8, he said, Luchetta returned to that address and prayed with her son before giving him a potentially fatal dose of Valium and Tylenol PM. She then cut her throat superficially, took nine months' worth of her own prescription Valium, and "laid down with her son to die," Demopoulos said.
"She told investigators she hoped she and her son would join her deceased parents in heaven," he told Judge Michael Wolfe. "She said she prayed to God for forgiveness."
Upon waking up the following morning to find herself and her son still alive, Luchetta called 911 and told police an intruder had poisoned her child and tried to kill her. She later admitted she concocted the story, prosecutors said.
Demopoulos said police recovered a bloody knife, a suicide note and pills from Luchetta's home. He said the child also told investigators his mother routinely gave him medication, but had given him more pills than usual the night before police found him.
"The evidence of guilt in this case is quite strong," Demopoulos said.
Luchetta, who appeared in court over a video feed from the county jail, showed little reaction Friday as prosecutors outlined the allegations. She answered procedural questions appropriately, but otherwise did not speak on the advice of her public defender.
Court records show Luchetta was charged with domestic battery three times since 2006 and has sought several orders of protection in DuPage County. Authorities said she has a history of drug and alcohol abuse.
Wolfe ordered her to wear a GPS monitoring device and to avoid contact with her son and husband should she post the necessary $30,000 to be released. He also ordered her to continue taking medication and to follow her doctor's advice.
If convicted of the most serious charge, Luchetta faces six to 30 years in prison, prosecutors said.