Suburban Mom Convicted in Disabled Daughter's Death Should Not Be in Prison, Lawyer Says

There is a new development in the case of Bonnie Liltz, the chronically ill 58-year-old Schaumburg mother convicted in the death of her severely disabled daughter, who died during a botched murder-suicide attempt. 

Liltz was transported to downstate Lincoln Correctional Center Wednesday to serve her four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter. On Thursday her lawyer Thomas Glasgow was back in court filing a motion to free her.

In his filing, Liltz’s attorney argued her health radically deteriorated while she was initially held at County Jail, her weight dropping to 92 pounds. The Illinois prison system, he wrote, is not equipped to deal with her litany of medical issues stemming from ovarian cancer in her youth and radical gastric issues now.

From the beginning, this has been a most unusual case.

Liltz, severely ill, thought she was dying one night in May of 2015. Fearing that her 28-year-old daughter Courtney, who she adopted at  the age of 5, would be sent to a state institution, Liltz gave her a number of medications before taking several herself in hopes that they would both overdose. Courtney died, and Liltz survived. 

Initially charged with first-degree murder, even the prosecution agreed the charge should be downgraded and that probation, not prison, was in order.

Defense attorney Glasgow at the time said, "I think the state looked at the facts in this case, ended up coming to a just result."

But Cook County Circuit Court Judge Joel Greenblatt strongly disagreed telling Liltz, "The choice you made that night was not an act of love. It was a crime."

He sentenced her to four years in prison.

In his motion, Glasgow wrote, "The court abused its discretion in sentencing Liltz to prison." He charged Thursday, “The Court’s comments strongly suggest that it never considered probation” though the statute allows for it.

The Illinois Department of Corrections posted Liltz’s photo on its inmate website Thursday.

No hearing date on the motion has yet been set.

Contact Us