Guilty Verdict for Involuntary Manslaughter and Child Endangerment

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Lake County State's Attorneys Office


May 10, 2022


For Immediate Release
Contact: Steve Spagnolo
(224) 374-2376

Jennifer Stroud

Jennifer Stroud

Guilty Verdict for Involuntary Manslaughter and Child Endangerment 

(Lake County, IL) On Tuesday, May 10, 2022, a jury trial concluded in Lake County Courthouse with two “guilty” verdicts after less than two hours of deliberation. 

Jennifer Stroud, 41, was convicted of one count of Involuntarily Manslaughter, a class 2 felony, and one count of Child Endangerment, a class 3 felony. Stroud was first charged with both counts in January 2017, for failing to take her son, Jason Stroud, to regular hospital visits after a heart transplant and not giving him his daily medication that was needed to prevent his body from rejecting his new heart. The parents’ inaction eventually led to the death of the 11-year-old child on September 11, 2016.  

Prior to trial, Stroud posted $7,500 cash bond in order to be released from Lake County Jail. But after the verdict, presiding Judge Daniel Shanes ordered that Stroud be placed into custody while awaiting her sentencing date. Stroud faces up to 14 years in prison. Defendants who gain freedom by posting money as bond are often ordered into custody after a guilty verdict. 

Eric Kalata, the lead trial prosecutor on the case said, “We appreciate the jury’s consideration of very detailed evidence that covered months of failure on the part of the Defendant.  Both parents knew that Jason’s transplant required lifetime care, and they knew the risks of failing him. They were reckless with his life, and we hope these verdicts start a path toward justice for Jason.”   

The trial began May 2, 2022, lasting several days. The jury heard from 13 state witnesses that included medical experts who explained how Stroud missing numerous appointments and failing to give medication led to Jason’s heart failure and death.  Several social workers and medical professionals testified that Stroud was offered free transportation and lodging in order to assist her in attending the appointments. State witnesses also established that the medications and testing procedures were free of charge to Ms. Stroud.  

The defense brought in a witness from Arizona, and Stroud chose to take the stand on Monday. Witnesses admitted Jennifer and Jason Stroud received a $60,000 settlement for a car accident and were receiving disability payments from the government on behalf of their son. They also admitted Jennifer’s father was willing to provide financial assistance for medication and other expenses that went with getting Jason to Lurie’s Children Hospital for his appointments, but Stroud never sought his help.  

Rinehart stated, after the verdict, “The Park City Police Department, DCFS, and the Child Protective Services Team at Lurie’s Children Hospital conducted a fantastic investigation on Jason’s behalf. I want to thank them, the prosecutors, and all the medical professionals who strived to save Jason. We will continue our efforts to hold Stroud responsible at the sentencing hearing.”  

The trial team consisted of Eric Kalata, Jason Humke, and State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart. 


Lake County State's Attorney's Office
18 N. County Street
Waukegan, IL 60085  
Phone: (847) 377-3000