Boulder Hill couple found guilty of criminal neglect in death of woman’s mother

Kendall County Courthouse

A Boulder Hill couple has been found guilty of criminal neglect in connection with the death of a family member nearly seven years ago, after a bench trial at the Kendall County Courthouse during the week of Sept. 18.

Jennifer Ashton and Craig Ashton, both 48, were convicted of eight counts of Criminal Neglect of an Elderly Person by Circuit Judge Robert Pilmer during a bench trial.

Kendall County State’s Attorney Eric Weis said members of the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Ashtons’ residence in Boulder Hill in December of 2016, where Jennifer Ashton’s 66-year-old mother, identified only as P.B., had died.

“What they would find there, according to one deputy, was one of the worst scenes he had witnessed at that point of his career,” Weis said.

After an autopsy was performed, the forensic pathologist would make findings that P.B. weighed only about 65 pounds and had 20 separate areas on her body showing skin lesions, Weis said.

P.B. had two separate lesions, one on her shoulder and one on her upper leg, which were down to the bone, Weis said.

Photographs of these lesions and the living conditions that P.B. was subjected to were produced at trial, Weis said.

Additionally, testimony from medical professionals and members of Senior Services Associates showed that services were offered to try and provide assistance but were turned away or ignored by the Ashtons, Weis said.

“Thanks to a strong investigation by the Kendall County Sheriff’s Office and their experienced staff of detectives, and our experienced prosecutors, the Ashtons, P.B.’s caregivers, were finally held responsible for her death,” Weis said.

A sentencing hearing in the case will be held on Dec. 1, 2023.

Weis said the case had been delayed in the court system because of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the death of the Ashtons’ first attorney.

State’s Attorney’s Office Criminal Chief Frank Gorup and Assistant State’s Attorney Ryan Phelps prosecuted the case. The Ashtons were represented by Attorney Liam Dixon.