EDWARDSVILLE - Alton woman, Amber Hampshire, convicted of involuntary manslaughter for allowing the death of her 14-year-old diabetic daughter, Emily, has avoided prison time because she has been undergoing treatment for problems related to diabetes.
Circuit Judge Kyle Napp has set a Sept. 21 date for a hearing on a motion to reduce Amber Hampshire's sentence.
Hampshire pleaded guilty in October 2020 but was allowed to continue free on bail because she needed treatment for her diabetes. She was sentenced to seven years in prison last May but was still allowed to go free because of her illness.
An expert testified at her sentencing that Hampshire has been diagnosed with a personality disorder.
A motion for a sentence reduction was set this month, but the hearing was continued because of her illness.
A statement of facts cited in court in October by Assistant State’s Attorney Kathleen Nolan said that had there been a trial, doctors, and nurses at St. Louis Children’s Hospital would have testified that, as early as October 2013, the young woman was diagnosed with diabetes. The staff at the hospital advised Hampshire that diabetes is an insulin deficiency and that the girl needed to be given insulin.
In October 2014, a doctor in Alton urged Hampshire to monitor the girl’s diet and blood sugar. That was the victim’s last visit to the doctor.
Hampshire filled out a form for a school sports physical in 2016 in which she answered “no” to questions about diabetes and related questions.
In February 2018, Hampshire took her daughter to a MedExpress facility in Alton, reporting flu-like symptoms. “A blood test found her blood sugar levels were out of control,” Nolan said.
The girl was taken by ambulance to Children’s Hospital. Her mother was with her. The girl, Emily Hampshire, was admitted and Amber Hampshire received education and a psychological consult. Staff members also gave her insulin, warning her the girl could die without proper care.
Hampshire canceled three follow-up appointments, according to court documents.
Nolan said evidence at trial also would have shown that Amber Hampshire received instructions on how to treat her child and that the girl’s school, Evangelical School in Godfrey, was also made aware of it — but Amber Hampshire told people at the school to disregard the care plan because the notification was a mistake.
Alton Police became involved after hospital personnel called an Illinois Department of Children and Family Services hotline. Sgt. Mike O’Neil conducted an investigation and was told by Amber Hampshire that she had no religious or financial reason to avoid her daughter’s treatment or to lie about the disease.
“She admitted that Emily did not see a doctor from the time she was discharged from the hospital in February in 2018 to when she died in November 2018,” Nolan said.
“Insulin was still in the refrigerator,” Nolan said.
In May, the judge rejected claims that Hampshire’s guilt was a result of a traumatic childhood.
“That’s not creating a traumatic childhood, that’s part of life,” Napp said.
She acknowledged that Emily was loved by her family, but was “on her own.”
“She didn’t have anyone fighting for her,” Napp said.