News'Illinois father sentenced to life for drowning children amidst custody battle and divorce'

'Illinois father sentenced to life for drowning children amidst custody battle and divorce'

Jason Karels
Jason Karels
Images source: © East News | Office of the States Attorney of Lake County, Illinois
2:48 PM EST, December 19, 2023

Jason Karels, a 36-year-old man from Round Lake Beach, Illinois, is on the verge of being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. This report comes from the "New York Post," citing Lake County Prosecutor, Eric Rinehart. Karels pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder, arguing he suffers from mental illness.

On March 13, 2022, Karels confessed to drowning his three children, 5-year-old Bryant, 3-year-old Cassidy, and 2-year-old Gideon, in a bathtub. Their mother discovered their bodies in their Chicago suburb home. Police reports indicate that the 36-year-old left a note stating, "If I can't have them, you can't either".

Despite sharing custody of their children, Karels and his wife lived separately and were in the process of getting a divorce. A family member affirmed that Karels suffers from mental illness but had refused psychiatric help.

"This case has devastated the community of Round Lake Beach and beyond," said Rinehart in a statement. "We hope that today's resolution will bring some degree of closure to this case (...)".

Karels was arrested following a police chase that culminated in a crash on an interstate bridge in Joliet. Following a brief hospital stay, he admitted to the police his responsibility for his children's deaths. He further revealed an unsuccessful suicide attempt prior to fleeing his home.

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