A judge Monday sentenced two Aurora siblings to prison for the criminal neglect of their ill, elderly mother.
Kane County Associate Judge Clint Hull did so despite a defense attorney's belief that sentencing his client to prison won't send a message to deter others from the crime because no one outside the courthouse is paying attention to the case.
"Out of all the siblings and co-defendants, he was the least involved with her care. He chose to drink and neglect his mother," Hull said in sentencing Alan Roberson to four years in prison.
Roberson's attorney, Ronald Dolak, had argued that several years ago, two Geneva sisters received probation on a similar charge -- and that was in a case where the victim died. But Hull said it was inappropriate to consider that case, since each case has to stand on its own merit.
Also on Monday, Hull sentenced Connie Roberson to 2½ years in prison. On Friday, he sentenced their brother, Kevin Roberson, to three years.
The Robersons were arrested in October 2011 after their mother was admitted to Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora with large bedsores that required surgical treatment; lice; dehydration; an ulcer on one foot; and a gangrenous maggot-ridden leg that had to be amputated. She had been treated at the hospital in June for kidney failure and congestive heart failure. According to testimony at Kevin Roberson's hearing, the mother refused care from home health care providers.
The Robersons -- and a 17-year-old-nephew -- lived with their 77-year-old mother.
Alan Roberson testified Monday he is an alcoholic, and was drinking 12 to 24 beers a day. He had convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol in 1976, 2008 and 2009. "He found himself in a can of beer. Alan Roberson is not unsalvageable," Dolak said, saying that if Alan received probation, he would try to find a job and seek treatment, through his VA benefits, for alcoholism.
"I don't believe that there was any (good faith) effort that was made," Hull said of Alan Roberson, noting he lived in the same room -- a living room -- where his mother was immobilized on a love seat, which was soiled with urine and feces, or slept in a bed that was covered in plastic. A bag of charcoal had been placed under the bed, intended, police presume, to absorb foul odors. Looking at a photo of the room, Hull pointed out that Alan Roberson slept no more than 10 to 15 feet away from his mother.
On Friday, during testimony for Connie Roberson, Alan Roberson Jr. testified he hired Connie to watch his children while he worked, that the children loved her, and that he would hire her again to take care of them. Aurora police said Connie Roberson told them both her brothers refused to help care for her mother, including bathing or changing her, or taking her to doctor's appointments.
The Robersons are eligible for "good time" day-for-day sentencing, and will get credit for the time served in the Kane County jail. They could have received probation or up to five years in prison.