- Essex District Attorney’s Office
Media Contact for Woman Convicted of Child Endangerment
Carrie Kimball Monahan, Director of Communications
Lynn, Massachusetts — A Lynn woman was found guilty today of endangering her 4-month old baby, who died after being left unattended in a Lynn homeless shelter in 2015.
Judge Thomas Drechsler found Laci Kirk, 24, a/k/a Laci Brand, guilty of Wanton or Reckless Endangerment of a Child this afternoon in Salem Superior Court. The verdict came after a week-long bench trial. He sentenced her to 2 ½ years in the House of Corrections with 8 ½ months to be served which was deemed served. The balance of her sentenced was suspended for 3 years during which she must attend parenting class, seek employment or obtain GED, obtain mental health and substance abuse evaluations and receive any treatment deemed necessary, remain drug and alcohol free and have no unsupervised contact with children under 16.
Essex Assistant District Attorney Kim Faitella introduced evidence that proved that on September 26, 2015, Laci Kirk was living with her infant son, Charles Brand III, then just shy of four months old, at Independence House, a shelter in Lynn. Ms. Kirk spent the majority of the day with a friend at the shelter, talking, listening to music and drinking. During this time, her infant was left largely unattended in a cluttered portable crib filled with multiple blankets, an adult bathrobe and a stuffed animal. In the early evening hours, Kirk went to check on the child and found him unresponsive with a small amount of blood coming from his nose. Responding officers noted that Kirk’s speech was slurred; she was unsteady on her feet and smelled of alcohol.
Charles Brand III was taken to North Shore Medical Center and subsequently to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
While an autopsy conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner concluded the infant died of natural causes, Laci Kirk engaged in a pattern of wanton and reckless conduct, leaving her child unattended for several hours at a time throughout his short life, prompting staff at the shelter to file a report with the Department of Children and Families. A case was open with the Department of Children and Families, and services were being put in place at the time of the child’s death.
ADA Faitella praised the work of Trooper Robert Demeo of the Essex State Police Detective Unit, Victim Witness Advocate Maureen Wilson Leal and the Lynn Police Department.