Mother Pleads Guilty to Attempted Murder in Son's Death
Kristen LaBrie, 44, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in connection with her son, Jeremy Fraser’s 2009 death today in Salem Superior Court. Judge James Lang imposed the jointly recommended sentence of five years in state prison, deemed served.
“This case has always been about justice for Jeremy. It was our job to be his voice,” District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said. “This sentence is fair, balanced, reasonable, and tempered with mercy."
Had the case gone to trial, Essex Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall would have introduced evidence that would have proven that the defendant withheld cancer treatment drugs from her son Jeremy from 2006 through 2008. When Jeremy was diagnosed with lymphoblastic lymphoma in 2006, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital told the defendant and Jeremy’s father that the cancer was highly treatable and that the treatment plan prescribed for him had an 85 to 90% cure rate. Over the course of the treatment, the defendant was responsible for administering a variety of medications at home. In all instances, doctors carefully reviewed the treatment plan with the defendant, who assured doctors that she understood the plan and the importance of complying with the plan. In fact, when questioned later if she withheld the medication, she stated that she would never do that because it would be like “pushing him in front of car.” In 2008, when Jeremy was diagnosed with the flu, it was discovered that his cancer had returned in a more aggressive and non-curable form. At this time, an investigation determined that the defendant had failed to fill prescriptions and that was likely the reason that the cancer had returned.
“Based on all of the evidence, the only conclusion to be reached is that she wanted him to die,” ADA MacDougall said.
Ms. LaBrie was convicted of attempted murder, 2 counts of permitting serious injury to a child and reckless child endangerment on April 12, 2011. She was sentenced to 8 to 10 years in state prison followed by 5 years of probation. A March 6, 2016, Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling granted her a new trial on the attempted murder charge and dismissed the 2 permitting injury charges. She began serving a 5 year probation sentence on the reckless child endangerment conviction on April 14, 2016.
DA Blodgett and ADA MacDougall thanked Peabody Police Chief Tom Griffin (who was the lead investigator when he was a Salem Police Detective), retired Salem Police Detective Peter Baglioni and Essex Victim Advocate Deborah Dunn for their hard work and dedication on this case.
Ms. LaBrie was represented by Attorney John Morris.