Heather O'Neill booking photo

Wausau Pilot & Review

A judge this month ruled that a case against a Merrill woman who allegedly tried to kill her son, who has autism, will move forward.

Heather O’Neill, 53, is facing charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree recklessly endangering safety and resisting or obstructing an officer in a case filed June 22 in Lincoln County Circuit Court, with a preliminary hearing held Nov. 10.

O’Neill allegedly told investigators she “snapped” after dealing with 16 years of violent tantrums.

“I can’t take it anymore, he beats me up,” she allegedly said. “I wanted it to be over for both of us.”

On Nov. 10, Circuit Judge Robert Russell found probable cause that a felony was committed, and bound O’Neill over for further proceedings.

Police say O’Neill called 911 to report she had given her 16-year-old son multiple drugs in an attempt to force an overdose. O’Neill also took an overdose of medication herself in an apparent suicide attempt, according to court filings.

Police say O’Neill and her son met a Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy outside the home, where she told the deputy her son needed to go to the hospital. She then tried to get back into the home but was detained by the deputy, who eventually handcuffed her.

After rescue crews arrived on scene and began rendering aid to the boy, O’Neill allegedly said she gave him Trazadone, sleeping aids and sedatives and said “I’m tired of living like this. I’m done.” The boy has limited communication skills, police said.

Investigators searched the home and found multiple empty prescription medication bottles that should not yet have been empty, along with additional partial bottles and non-prescription medications. A suicide note was also found that said in part, “I have come to the conclusion that life will not get better from here.”

“As soon as he does not get his way, [he] turns aggressive with me. This I can no longer handle,” the note said.“I can no longer remember why I even wanted a child,” the note said. “He has been such a miserable burden to me and will continue to be so. Never will this end. Never will I be able to live the happy peaceful life that I have needed.”

Police say the teen had a seizure and stopped breathing while at the hospital, forcing medical personnel to insert a breathing tube. The boy survived, but his current condition has not been released.

O’Neill, who is being held on $100,000 cash, will revisit bond conditions during a hearing Nov. 22, the same date of her arraignment hearing.

You are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.