New manslaughter charges filed against Lake County couple in son's death after transplant
New involuntary manslaughter charges have been filed against a Lake County couple accused of withholding lifesaving medication from their 11-year-old son after the boy received a heart transplant, leading to his death last year.
David Stroud, 41, and Jennifer Stroud, 36, of Park City pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the felony charges in front of Lake County Judge Daniel Shanes.
If found guilty on the new charges, each faces up to 14 years in prison, Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Eric Kalata said.
Involuntary manslaughter is a more severe charge than the endangering the life of a child allegations initially filed against the couple in January. Those charges carry a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
Their son, Jason Stroud, was a sixth-grader at Woodland Middle School in Gurnee when he died Sept. 11, at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago.
Authorities say Jason received a heart transplant when he was 7 years old at a children's hospital in Milwaukee. The May 2012 transplant came after the boy underwent eight open heart surgeries and 20 surgical procedures.
In June 2015, authorities said, the family moved to Illinois and switched hospitals. They were expected to make regular visits to Lurie Hospital and ensure Jason was taking medication daily to prevent his body from rejecting the heart, authorities said.
However, after Jason missed several hospital appointments between December 2015 and August 2016, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services was contacted to check on his well-being, authorities said.
Prosecutors said Jason's body began rejecting the donor heart because daily medication not been given to him by his parents, causing his hospitalization and eventual death.
Jennifer Stroud is free after posting 10 percent of her $75,000 bail. David Stroud remains in the Lake County jail on the same bail amount.
Jennifer Stroud is scheduled to return to court May 10. David Stroud is due back in court May 2.