4-year sentence stands for Schaumburg mom who killed disabled daughter

  • Bonnie R. Liltz

    Bonnie R. Liltz

 
 
Updated 10/10/2017 7:31 PM

The Schaumburg mom convicted last year of involuntary manslaughter in the 2015 death of her severely disabled daughter was dealt another blow in her attempt to have her four-year sentence overturned.

Bonnie Liltz's attorney Thomas Glasgow learned Friday that the Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal. He argued that the Illinois Department of Corrections cannot properly care for Liltz, who has life-threatening medical issues, and that prison violates her constitutional right against cruel and unusual punishment.

 

She is currently out on bail.

"We have until Nov. 1 to decide our next step," Glasgow said.

Glasgow said he is considering asking Gov. Bruce Rauner to commute Liltz's sentence based on her medical condition.

"I don't think it's an unusual request," said Glasgow, adding that Liltz's weight dropped from 98 to 84 pounds during her incarceration at the Logan Correctional Center.

Her medical issues resulted from treatment for ovarian cancer that seriously damaged her bladder, small intestine and other organs. As a result, Liltz, 57, has difficulty processing nutrients, making her dangerously underweight and susceptible to infection, Glasgow said.

During her time in prison, Liltz became malnourished and dehydrated and experienced dizziness and a rapid heart rate, Glasgow said. He said she did not have access to proper medication or supplies for some of her conditions.

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The Illinois Supreme Court's move means the appellate court ruling, upholding the trial court's four-year sentence, stands.

Liltz admitted feeding an overdose of prescription and over-the-counter drugs to her daughter Courtney -- who had cerebral palsy, could not walk or talk and required 24-hour care -- and then tried to kill herself. Liltz said she believed she was dying and worried about who would care for Courtney.

Initially charged with murder, Liltz pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter as part of a plea agreement with Cook County prosecutors that included four years' probation with mental health treatment. Cook County Judge Joel Greenblatt rejected the recommendation and sentenced Liltz to four years in prison, saying "life is precious. Even a life that is disabled. Even a life that is profoundly disabled."

Glasgow said Liltz is not asking her conviction be set aside nor does she request a pardon.

"There's a difference between forgiveness and mercy," he said. "We're asking for mercy."

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