Guilty verdict for woman guilty of withholding cancer drugs

Photograph of an empty jury box made of wood with black chairs insideA Massachusetts court sentenced a 38-year-old female to 8 to 10 years in prison for attempted murder April 15 for withholding cancer treatment from her son, a nine-year-old with autism who battled with various illnesses for almost three years before dying of the illness.

Jeremy was first diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in October 2006. The mother, Kristen A. LaBrie, subsequently failed to provide Jeremy with the necessary at-home chemotherapy medications for months. When doctors realized he was not receiving medications, he was placed in the custody of his father.

Jeremy’s illness escalated into leukemia and he died in March 2009.

“He was a little boy, he was her little boy, and he had an opportunity for a miracle . . . and she took that from him, she stole that from him,’’ Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall testified at Essex Superior Court, according to The Boston Globe. “That was not a tragic mistake. That was not an accident. That was in every sense of the word criminal.”

The defense attorney argued there is no evidence LaBrie intended to murder her son. LaBrief testified she believed her son was cancer free and that she could not bear to give her son the therapy, which she believed made the illness worse.

“I was really scared he had had it,” she said. “I was scared he couldn’t go through any more chemotherapy. I felt it could out-villainize the disease.”

The judge also found LaBrie guilty of assault and battery on a disabled person with injury, assault and battery on a child with substantial injury, and reckless endangerment of a child.