A chronically ill Schaumburg mother who pleaded guilty in the death of her severely disabled daughter is preparing for the possibility of having to soon return to prison.
"It's difficult. Your whole life has to change again," Bonnie Liltz told NBC 5. "Like I said, I am taking care of my mother now, so it will be difficult."
Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court declined to hear Liltz's appeal of the four-year sentence she received when she plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter for the death of her 28-year-old daughter Courtney.
"You know, I am sure it wasn’t an easy decision," Liltz said. "You don’t want to say it's OK. There were people who were on my side, who knew me, knew my daughter, knew the love I had for my daughter. Knew I didn’t do it out of malice. I was in a situation where I thought I was dying that night, and what was going to happen to my daughter?"
Liltz admits she was likely not in her right mind when, while facing a health crisis of her own, she decided to end her adopted daughter’s life rather than allow her to be placed in state care.
"When you are in situation where you think you are dying -- my heart was in palpitations, I was sweating -- and you’ve got this little person here, sleeping right next to you and you are going, 'Lord, what’s going to happen?' My family can't take care of her. They are in their 80s. My only thought was if I leave, die and leave her, she is going to wind up in a state facility, and i just couldn’t do that to her."
Last year, Liltz was released from the Logan Correctional Center, in part because her own severe intestinal problems were threatening her health behind bars.
She worries that she may not survive if she is forced to go back.
"I’m scared," Liltz said. "I am afraid of the same thing happening. It was three months, and I lost 14 pounds in three months. It's scary. I was having heart palpitations in there. Anxiety issues. They don’t really want to hear it."
Now Liltz’s last hope is that Gov. Bruce Rauner will commute or shorten her sentence.
"Based on Bonnie and her special needs, the Illinois Department of Corrections is ill-equipped to handle her special needs when she is incarcerated in their custody and control," attorney Thomas Glasgow said.
Liltz hopes the governor will take her special needs into consideration when he makes his decision.
"I hope so," she said. "If I was healthy, the time I have to serve, I would do it. But when you have health issues that aren’t met, three months was very hard."