By Jim Hagerty
ROCKFORD — A Winnebago couple charged with attempted murder of their children is out of jail after a judge reduced their bond Monday.
Christopher J. Williams, 47, and Kathryn A. Williams, 49, were arrested last month on 24 charges each, including attempted murder and aggravated battery of a child. Their initial bond was set at $1 million each. Monday, Judge John Lowry reduced Kathryn Williams’ bond to $100,000 and the bond for Christopher Williams to $50,000.
The couple is allowed to see their children during supervised visits while on out on bond. Lowry further ordered them to refrain from discussing the case in front of the children.
The Williams’ next court date is Jan. 30. Their charges stem from an investigation that authorities say began last year. The children were removed from the home in August.
In total, the couple is charged with two counts of attempted first-degree murder, 10 counts of aggravated battery of a child, four counts of aggravated domestic battery, four counts of reckless conduct, two counts of child endangerment and two counts of theft by deception.
According to the bill of indictment, the defendants “knowingly reported false medical symptoms and medical diagnosis to medical personnel, causing medical procedures and medication to be provided to (names redacted) other than as medically necessary and such that death could ensue.”
Prosecutors allege that the abuse took place between March 7, 2007 and Aug. 30, 2018.
Over the years, the Williams’ children were featured in local news stories about how they were living with an array of health problems such as heart, brain and stomach conditions. Because of those conditions, the family was assisted by area charities and organizations.
Officials allege that between Dec. 15, 2015 and Dec. 30, 2017 Kathryn and Christopher Williams fraudulently accepted an assistance dog and an all-expense-paid trip to Disney from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross said the couple was seeking hospice care for the children when they did not need it. One of the children was unnecessarily confined to a bed and wheelchair, causing permanent tendon damage. Based on inaccurately reported information, the child relied on an ileostomy bag. R.