Lydia Price now charged with 11 felonies
Lydia Price, the Berwyn mother accused of criminal neglect after her 14-year-old son Matthew Degner died outside her home that housed more than 200 animals, has been indicted and will now face 11 felony charges.
She’s scheduled to enter her plea during her arraignment, which will take place at 9 a.m. Oct. 31 at the Maybrook Courthouse in Maywood.
If convicted on all charges, Price could face up to five years in prison, said Andy Conklin, a spokesman for the Cook County District Attorney's Office.
Price is now charged with two counts of aggravated cruelty to animals and nine counts of abuse or neglect by a caregiver. Prosecutors will move forward with those charges and not previous charges, which included two felonies and six misdemeanors.
Price also switched attorneys from Orland Park-based Sam Haddad to Steven A. Greenberg, who works out of Chicago.
“I don't think she's a bad parent. I think she was just overwhelmed,” Greenberg said today after Price’s status hearing.
Greenberg added that Matthew's death was a tragic accident, but claimed it wasn’t an act of criminal negligence.
“Frankly, if we prosecute someone every time their kid gets sick, we're going to have a lot of cases,” he said.
Although prosecutors in the case were expected to ask for an increase in Price's bail — effectively putting her back in jail — that issue was not raised during today's hearing.
Conklin denied published reports that prosecutors were going to seek an increased bail amount.
Price remains free after her family paid $10,000 to get her out of jail.