Woman convicted of killing daughter hopes Rauner will commute sentence

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Bonnie Liltz is convicted of killing her own severely disabled daughter.  

And now, she is asking Governor Bruce Rauner to keep her from heading to prison.

The 57-year-old Schaumburg woman says a prison sentence could be a death sentence, because of her medical condition.

“Every day I wish I could go back and bring her back to me. I mean, it's an emptiness that I have without her,” Liltz said.

Two years ago, Liltz was convinced she was dying and that nobody could care for her severely disabled, 28-year-old daughter, Courtney. She tried to end both of their lives with drug overdoses, but only Courtney died.

Liltz was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and received a four year sentence. She served 72 days and then was released on bond as she appealed. Now, she's lost her appeal, but is asking the governor to commute the remainder of her sentence.

FOX 32: Do you think it would be life threatening if you were forced to go back to prison?

“I really do, I really do. Unless they're going to get my medications or they're going to allow me the time to eat,” Liltz said.

Her digestive system was severely damaged by radiation treatments for ovarian cancer when she was younger. In prison, she claims she had trouble getting medications and care, her weight falling to 84 pounds. She is not asking for a pardon, only that the governor commute her sentence for medical reasons.

“This is something that she is not asking for forgiveness of…she'll have to answer for the Lord for that. She’s just asking not to do the remainder of the penitentiary time as both the state and I agreed upon,” defense attorney Thomas Glasgow said.

Liltz's request for a commuted sentence must first go through the prisoner review board, which makes recommendations to Governor Rauner. The earliest that a hearing could be scheduled before the board would be January.

It's likely she'll have to report to prison before that hearing occurs. She told FOX 32 she now regrets taking Courtney's life, but felt she had no other options.

“Nobody that I knew could come and step into my shoes and take over care for Courtney. So I did what I did at the time, because I didn't know what else to do,” she said.

Governor Rauner's office told FOX 32 that Liltz's request for a commuted sentence will be handled like every other such request, and had no other comment beyond.