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Man charged in killing of boy, stabbing of pregnant mother on Chicago's North Side days after being released from jail

Suspect violated orders of protection before attack that wounded woman, killed boy
Suspect violated orders of protection before attack that wounded woman, killed boy 03:10

CHICAGO (CBS)-- A man has been charged in a stabbing that left an 11-year-old boy dead and a pregnant mother critically injured in their Edgewater home Wednesday morning in what police have called a domestic incident. 

Crosetti Brand, 37, is facing charges including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery, home invasion, and domestic battery. He made his initial court appearance on Friday.

In the courtroom, family members charged at Brand - trying to get through the court barriers to get to him. They had to be escorted out of the courtroom - and out of the George N. Leighton Criminal Courthouse altogether, though they were not held in contempt of court.

A judge ordered Brand to be held behind bars.

CBS 2 has learned Brand has a violent history of domestic battery. He had just been released from jail on Tuesday. 

Police said, around 8 a.m., officers responded to a call from the 5900 block of North Ravenswood Avenue, where they found 11-year-old Jayden Perkins -- who had suffered an injury to his chest. Police also found a 33-year-old woman who had suffered multiple stab wounds.

Jayden Perkins Cheddar Up

Emergency crews rushed both victims to Ascension St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, where Jayden died, and the woman was left in critical condition with a cut to her neck. The mother is eight months pregnant.

CBS 2 is told she is expected to recover, as is the unborn baby.

Police said the mother was leaving to take her kids to school when the suspect forced his way into the house. Police confirmed her 5-year-old son witnessed the attack.

Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti said the suspect had been released on electronic monitoring in October, but returned to prison after violating parole. He was next released on March 12, just a day before the violent attack.

Man charged in deadly stabbing had been released from prison the day before 04:01

The woman who was stabbed had a history with Crosetti dating back more than 15 years. She also has a long history of trying to protect herself from him after dating him so long ago.

"This defendant has a history of domestic violence and had only been recently released from serving a sentence from a prior conviction," Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx said. "The victim had an order of protection against him from previous encounters, and this history paints a disturbing pattern of behavior which emphasizes the importance of the filing of the charges today."

The suspect's violent history and a possible justice system failure

Failure by the justice system in the release of man now accused of killing boy, wounding woman? 02:58

"This is something that never should have happened," police Supt. Larry Snelling said at a press briefing Friday morning on the charges against Brand.

Brand, again, had been released from jail a day before the attack. He had also served eight and a half years in prison for aggravated domestic battery and home invasion, according to court records.

Another ex-girlfriend of Brand's said over the phone earlier this week that she couldn't understand why he was ever released.

This was given that court records showed that Brand "forced his way into the apartment of his former girlfriend," then "attacked [girlfriend] and threatened her 15-year-old son," and then "put a gun to [girlfriend's] chin... pushed her up against the wall... and began choking her."

Brand was sentenced to 16 years in prison for the home invasion targeting the other ex-girlfriend, yet was paroled last year in October. On Feb. 1, police said he threatened the Edgewater victim.

"When he was paroled and placed on electronic monitoring this past October, while he was on parole, he threatens the female victim via text - and also showed up at her home," said Ursitti. "He was sent back to prison in February for this parole violation."

On Feb. 21, the victim appeared in court for an emergency order of protection against Brand. 

In the request for the emergency order of protection, the Edgewater victim wrote that Brand "sent me several text messages saying he would kill me and my family. He would wait outside my house and shoot me. I have pics."

But the judge in that case denied it, noting that Brand was already in prison and it wasn't an emergency. 

Amanda Pyron, executive director of The Network Advocating Against Domestic Violence, reviewed the transcript from court Friday.

"It's also a little concerning that the judge didn't ask why the individual was in IDOC custody, or when he might be able to be released," said Pyron.

Pyron said if the judge had asked any follow-ups, he may have discovered that Brand was due to be released on March 12 - and thus, the situation was an emergency.

"That seems like salient information that a judge would want in decision-making about an emergency order protection," Pyron said.

Snelling was asked why Brand was still released.

"I don't have a good answer for that. Obviously, that would be a question for the Illinois Department of Corrections," Snelling said. "My feeling is that he should not have been. He violated parole. He violated an order of protection – and it involved the same type of crime that he was paroled for. So this is someone who should not have been on the street."

IDOC has only confirmed that Brand was heard by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, and was released from Stateville Correctional Center on March 12. It was still unclear Friday if and when any of the information about the victim's request for an emergency order of protection was communicated to IDOC.

CBS 2 reached out to all of the members of the Prisoner Review Board Friday, and had not heard back late in the day.

Court records show the suspect has had orders of protection filed against him from four other women dating back to 2004.

"There are questions that need to be examined and truthfully answered so that we can prevent something like this from happening in the future," said State's Attorney Foxx.

Foxx described the apparent issues in this case as "shocking and so glaring."

"However rare, this is horrific, and we need to do an evaluation - particularly in this case and others - to ensure that there were no gaps in the justice system that will allow for a dangerous offender to commit the acts that he did," said Foxx.

Foxx said despite the emergency order for protection being denied, there was already a "lifetime order of protection" in place. Advocates and legal experts said they are not sure what Foxx means by a "lifetime order of protection," and the public court records do not reflect that the victim had such a thing.

The State's Attorney's office followed up to release this statement late Friday afternoon: "According to law enforcement records, there is an order of protection related to the 33-year-old victim in this case with no expiration date. The victim in this case and the victim in the 2015 case were both notified by IDOC of the defendant's release in October 2023 and the defendant was notified not to have contact with both victims. We are continuing to investigate this matter."

CBS 2 also reached out to the Cook County Chief Judge's office about the judge's decision not to grant an emergency order, and the judge's lack of follow-up questions related to the victim's arrest. The spokesperson said under Illinois Supreme Court ethics rules, they cannot comment.

Mayor Brandon Johnson releases statement

Mayor Johnson, in a statement, said he was "devastated" by the murder of Jayden and the attempted murder of his mother:

"This despicable crime is a horrific reminder of the need for us to correct systemic failures, address the root causes of violence in our community, and continue to support our domestic violence and gender-based violence survivors, their families and communities, and the providers and advocates who do this work daily.  

Domestic violence impacts everyone in our communities, and we are committed to building on resources that support survivors and their families. Partnerships like The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence make the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline possible. Anyone who may be experiencing or witnessing violence may reach out by calling or texting 1-877-863-6338. The Hotline is available 24/7 and in Spanish.  

I thank the Chicago Police Department for its efforts and for bringing swift justice as we continue to coordinate resources for Jayden's family and community. The family has been connected to emergency funding and other resources. Chicago Public Schools and community-based victim service teams are providing support to students who attended school with Jayden and those in the community who are impacted.  

We will continue to build on those resources, collaborating with our advocates, the County and the State to leverage every opportunity available, as we know there is much more work to do on this front.  

Jayden was a bright light in his community. We grieve alongside his family and community as we reckon with this unthinkable loss. We pray for Jayden's mother's recovery. We will never forget Jayden, who was taken from us much too soon. May God rest his soul in eternal peace."

Victim Jayden Perkins called "an exceptional young man"

CBS 2 has learned Jayden died protecting his mother.

A stunned neighbor described Jayden as a "great" kid and the family as "calm" and "loving."

Jayden attended the Helen C. Peirce School of International Studies, a Chicago public elementary school at 1423 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.

A support fund has been set up for Jayden by the Peirce Elementary School Community and the Gus Giordano Dance School, a 5230 N. Clark St. in Andersonville. A total of more than $26,000 had been raised toward a $50,000 goal as of Friday afternoon.

The website for the memorial fund said Jayden "was known for his love of spending time with friends, playing sports, and performing." He earned straight A's and consistently made the honor roll in school, and was involved in cross-country, football, and the arts, the website said.

Jayden especially enjoyed performing and theatre, and appeared in several school plays at Peirce – including "Finding Nemo," the website said.

Jayden's mother had worked as a recess coach at Peirce before moving to the medical field, the website said. 

"She was a lovable woman, and her son was very well-mannered and spoke to me all the time," the neighbor added of Jayden's mother, "and I'm sorry for this tragic."

Jayden's brother, who witnessed the brutal attack, also attends Peirce.    

How was suspect in stabbing that wounded woman, killed teen allowed to go free the day before? 02:44
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