An appellate court has declined to overturn the sentence for suburban mother Bonnie Liltz, who killed her adopted daughter with special needs during a botched murder-suicide attempt.
In a 12-page ruling, the appellate court said Friday the trial court “did not abuse its discretion in imposing a term of imprisonment on the defendant” even though a negotiated plea with prosecutors would have resulted in the Schaumburg woman sentenced to probation.
“The trial court should have taken more weight or given more weight to the multiple witnesses who testified during the course of the hearing as well as the mountain of medical evidence that was presented to the court,” said Liltz’s attorney Thomas Glasgow.
In 2015, Liltz gave her 28-year old disabled daughter Courtney a lethal overdose and thought she had given one to herself. The botched murder-suicide came as Liltz thought she was dying and didn't trust the system to take care of Courtney.
“I still have nightmares and miss Courtney like crazy,” she told NBC 5 last year. “She was my whole life.”
Liltz was sentenced to four years in prison by Judge Joel Greenblatt for the overdose death, even though prosecutors agreed probation was the appropriate sentence.
Liltz was not, she said, prepared for the judge’s decision to put her behind bars.
She was also not expected the ruling handed down by the appellate court Friday.
“She was devastated when she ended up getting the information from the order and the court’s ruling,” Glasgow said.
Liltz had been free on bond pending her appeal, but that bond can now be revoked following the court’s decision.
That possibility is concerned for Liltz and her attorneys as she suffers from severe intestinal problems as a result of radiation treatment for ovarian cancer. Her health was declining during her time at the Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Illinois.
“I received a letter from her primary care physician just last week that indicated in his opinion, in the doctor’s opinion, she would end up dying if she went back to the Illinois Department of Corrections,” Glasgow said.
Liltz’s attorneys are filing a motion for a re-hearing and, if denied, her appeal will be taken to the Illinois Supreme Court, which may or may not hear her case.