'Wicked' Mother Gets 20 Years in Prison For Drugging Son
Judge calls Cheryl Luchetta's actions "inconceivable."
In a calm, if not dispassionate voice, Cheryl Luchetta told the 911 operator a man had slashed her throat and done something to her son.
Police and paramedics arrived to find the boy breathing, but unable to talk, while his eyes moved around unfocused. For 45 minutes, Luchetta told an Elmhurst police officer about the drug dealer who slashed her throat and gave pills to her 7-year-old son the night before.
Confronted about inconsistencies in her story, Luchetta admitted to the officer that it was her who gave her son as many as a half dozen Tylenol PM pills, as well as her own prescription drugs for anxiety, in June 2011.
"She brought him to death's door and dropped him off," Assistant State's Attorney Demetri Demopoulos said, calling Luchetta a "deprived and wicked woman."
On Monday, Luchetta was sentenced to 20 years in prison for drugging her son in an attempt to kill the boy to keep him from becoming the custody of Matthew Luchetta, Cheryl's now ex-husband. Luchetta told police she wanted to kill herself and her son so that they could be "together" with Cheryl's deceased parents.
Luchetta previously pleaded guilty to aggravated battery to a child in a deal where prosecutors dropped an attempted murder charge against her. She will be required to serve 85 percent of the sentence, with credit for about 15 months in DuPage County Jail, and register as a violent offender against a youth.
Judge Daniel Guerin, who handed down the sentence, cited psychological reports that indicated Luchetta was depressed about her divorce, had a history of bipolar disorder and abused prescription and illegal drugs. One doctor noted Luchetta said she drank a "12 pack of beer and pint of Everclear" every day for a month before the incident.
Guerin took exception to Luchetta's lies to police when she could have helped them understand what happened to her son.
"When time was of the essence, she wasted precious moments," Guerin said. "That is inconceivable to the court."
Luchetta's attorney, Frank Valenti, said his client had a difficult life, which went further downhill in the last five years.
"She wasn't thinking logically. What she did was wrong," Valenti said of the incident. "Of course she is (sorry). It's the worst thing a parent can do.
Luchetta spoke briefly to say she loves her son.
"If I could change anything, I would," she said. "I do have remorse."
The boy, who initially suffered speech and physical impairments because of the overdose, remains in therapy and has had nightmares since the incident. Guerin said it remains to be seen the future psychological damage the boy faces as he learns more about what happened.
Guerin and Demopoulos each noted Luchetta violated her son's trust by giving him the overdose amount of medications. She regularly gave him his own medicine for ADHD. In an interview with a state's attorney's office investigator, the boy said he noticed the pills were different.
"Because it was colorful," Adrian tells the investigator on the recorded interiew played in court. "It was a lot."
Matthew Luchetta frequently became emotional, leaving the courtroom twice, during testimony.
"Thank the Lord," he said as he left the courtroom, adding Adrian is "better than ever."
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