Lake County father could plead guilty in son's death
A plea deal is near between Lake County prosecutors and a Park City man accused of not giving his son necessary medicine to fend off the boy's rejection of a new heart, an attorney said in court Thursday.
Assistant Lake County State's Attorney Eric Kalata said attorneys have an "agreement in principle" to end the court case against David Stroud, 41. Kalata told Judge Daniel Shanes more time is needed to finalize the plea deal because it involves Stroud's giving truthful testimony against his estranged wife, Jennifer Stroud, 36.
David Stroud is expected to return to court April 16.
The Strouds individually pleaded not guilty to felony charges of manslaughter and child endangerment stemming from the death of Jason Stroud, 11.
They each face up to 14 years in prison if found guilty at trial.
Jason was a sixth-grader at Woodland Middle School in Gurnee when he died Sept 11, 2016, four years after undergoing heart transplant surgery in Milwaukee.
After the Strouds moved from Milwaukee to Park City in 2015, they were expected to take Jason to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago for regular visits. The couple were also tasked with giving Jason daily medication to prevent his body from rejecting the new heart, authorities said.
When Jason missed several hospital appointments between December 2015 and August 2016, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services performed a well-being check on the family. Jason was taken to the hospital, where doctors discovered his body was rejecting the donor heart because he had not been taking the required medication, authorities said.
The parents were charged after a lengthy criminal investigation.
Jennifer Stroud is free from the Lake County jail after posting 10 percent of her $75,000 bail. David Stroud remains in jail on the same bail amount.
David Stroud and Jennifer Stroud have separate attorneys, and each plans to blame the other should the case go to trial. The two filed for divorce in July after the criminal charges were filed.