A mother overcome by the pressures of raising her severely autistic son has been charged with murder. The felony charge comes after she admitted she tried to kill her son using a combination of sleeping pills and assault. The woman and the family friend named as her accomplice in the alleged act, both Illinois residents, also attempted suicide after the fact.
This tragic story came as a result of a marked deterioration in the 14-year-old's emotional condition. Autism can be an especially challenging condition for those who suffer from it and their caregivers alike, and the woman allegedly told police she wanted to end her son's pain. According to court reports, the woman fed her son an overdose of sleeping pills, but when that failed to end his life, she assaulted him with a kitchen knife, eventually managing to kill him.
The woman and the family friend then took sleeping pills themselves in a suicide attempt marked by a note found at the scene. The note allegedly contained a confession in reference to the murder of the teen. Both women were transported to hospital and charged with first-degree murder.
A felony charge is a serious allegation, and one like first-degree murder can be problematic to prove for prosecutors. A first-degree charge infers premeditation, which is often considered the hallmark of a hardened killer, but of course this is not necessarily the case. It is possible this case will be influenced by the emotional distress of the mother in question, considering her son's medical condition. In order for a first-degree charge to pass, Illinois prosecutors will have to prove malevolent intent in this case, and that may be a difficult position to defend in a jury court setting.
Source: New York Daily News, "Illinois mother murders severely autistic son with kitchen knife, fails to kill herself: cops," Michael Walsh, June 13, 2013