Cancer med-withholding mom gets 8 to 10 years
Kristen LaBrie looks at family and friends after is was found guilty on all four counts, including attempted murder, in the death of her son, at Lawrence Superior Court in Lawrence, Ma., Tuesday, April 12, 2011. / AP Photo/Cheryl Senter
LAWRENCE, Mass. - A Massachusetts woman convicted of attempted murder for withholding cancer medications from her autistic son was sentenced to eight to 10 years in prison.
Kristen LaBrie wept and expressed remorse before a judge announced her punishment Friday in Lawrence Superior Court. She said she misses her son every day.
Authorities say LaBrie stopped filling Jeremy Fraser's cancer medication prescriptions. The boy died in 2009 at age 9. Prosecutors argued that he had an 85 to 90 percent chance of surviving had he received the proper treatment.
But LaBrie testified that the medicine made her son suffer even more.
"He was very, very sick, and I was afraid, and I did not want to have to make him get any more sick."
Judge Richard Welch said he had sympathy for the "tremendous pressures" LaBrie faced as a single parent raising a severely disabled child. But he said withholding the boy's treatment was "an extended, secretive and calculated act that chills the soul."
LaBrie could have gotten 20 years. Prosecutors asked for at least 16. Her lawyer sought one year in jail.
Her lawyer argued she was simply overwhelmed by caring for her son and asked for one year in jail plus probation.
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