A Round Lake woman has been sentenced to four years in prison after she pleaded guilty to the death of a 3-month-old baby boy that occurred at her home daycare center.
Jane Korzun, 55, of the 300 block of West Savoy Drive in Round Lake, was charged in December 2019 with one count of involuntary manslaughter, four counts of endangering the life or health of a child, five counts of unlawful restraint and five counts of unlawful operation of a child care center.
Korzun initially pleaded not guilty in court at the beginning of her case.
In May, Korzun entered into a negotiated plea deal with the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office.
She pleaded guilty to one count of endangering the life or health of a child and one count of involuntary manslaughter. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed the rest of her charges.
Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti sentenced Korzun to four years in prison during a Tuesday sentencing hearing, court records show.
Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office Spokesperson Sara Avalos said the state’s attorney’s office had been seeking the maximum prison sentence of 10 years.
“The State’s Attorney’s Office asked for the maximum in this case based on the charges that were filed in 2019, which was 10 years in prison. We will continue to provide support to the family in this tragic and disturbing case,” Avalos said.
The charges stemmed from an incident on August 9, 2019, when police and paramedics responded to a 911 call of a child not breathing at Korzun’s Round Lake home.
Officers discovered a 3-month-old baby who was staying at the residence, which was also a child daycare business, according to the Round Lake Police Department.
Officers attempted lifesaving measures and paramedics transported the boy to Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville where he was pronounced dead.
A thorough investigation was conducted, which included detectives interviewing children and family members and reviewing hundreds of hours of surveillance video, police said.
The investigation revealed a “neglectful environment and abusive practices” at the daycare, Round Lake police said at the time.
The Lake County Coroner’s Office ruled the death a homicide due to asphyxiation in an unsafe sleeping environment.
The 3-month-old was identified in court records as Jaspen W. Lothson.
He died after Korzun swaddled him in a blanket with his arms pinned behind his back and laid him on his side, according to a grand jury indictment.
Galyna Zaytseva, 63, of the 400 block of Blue Springs Drive in Fox Lake, who also worked at the daycare, was charged with aggravated battery, endangering the life or health of a child, unlawful restraint and unlawful operation of a child care center.
Zaytseva was accused of physically striking children at the daycare on separate occasions, and in one instance, physically restraining a child for an extensive period with the help of Korzun, according to a grand jury indictment.
Court records show Zaytseva pleaded guilty last year to one count of unlawful restraint and was sentenced to one year of periodic imprisonment.
During Korzun’s Tuesday sentencing hearing, Rossetti said Korzun’s actions in the boy’s death were “plain neglect” and there was “no excuse for what occurred,” the Chicago Tribune reported.
Korzun will receive credit for 971 days served in the county jail while her case was pending.