Mom pleads guilty to reduced charges in disabled daughter’s death

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Bonnie Liltz (center) appears at the Rolling Meadows courthouse on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Liltz, who was initially charged with killing her 28-year-old disabled daughter in a botched murder-suicide attempt, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. | Mark Welsh/Daily Herald via AP

Friends, family members and a young man she cared for when he was a baby praised Bonnie Liltz as a loving mother on the same day the Schaumburg woman pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of her 28-year-old disabled daughter.

Nine witnesses Tuesday described Liltz’s devotion to her daughter Courtney and asked for leniency for the 56-year-old woman, who gave her daughter a fatal overdose of prescription drugs and took some herself out of what her attorney says was desperation. Suffering serious health problems, Liltz feared she soon might not be able to care for Courtney, attorney Thomas Glasgow said.

Liltz was initially charged with first-degree murder, which carries a minimum 20-year sentence if convicted. The amended charge carries a sentence of probation or up to 14 years in prison.

An emotional Liltz dabbed at her eyes and nose during the nearly three-hour hearing before a crowded courtroom that included two dozen supporters. The hearing continues at 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Kristen Mann described hiring Liltz to care for her infant son Tyler 20 years ago. Watching Liltz with Courtney, “I knew I found the perfect person to care for my son,” said Mann, who referred to the “special bond” between Courtney and Liltz.

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