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Mother is indicted in child’s death

Accused of not getting treatment

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By Sean Sposito
Globe Correspondent / July 6, 2009
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A 37-year-old Salem woman, accused of withholding life-saving cancer treatment from her dying son, is scheduled to be arraigned today in the death of the autistic child.

Kristen LaBrie, whose 9-year-old son, Jeremy Fraser, died of leukemia in March, was indicted by an Essex County grand jury Friday on charges of attempted murder, permitting serious bodily injury to a disabled person, child endangerment, and permitting substantial bodily injury to a child.

She was arrested in Salem last night and is scheduled to be arraigned today in Salem Superior Court.

Jeremy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006.

LaBrie, who had custody of the boy between October 2006 and February 2008, is accused of not providing life-saving prescriptions or keeping doctors’ appointments. The disease eventually progressed to leukemia, according to court papers.

Jeremy died days after his father, Eric J. Fraser, took him to a hospice.

According to court documents, LaBrie’s Danvers-based lawyer, Kevin James, might argue that LaBrie’s mental health was so strained that she was unable to make appropriate choices for her son.

Neither James nor Fraser could be reached for comment last night.

LaBrie faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in state prison if convicted of attempted murder, 10 years on the charge of permitting serious bodily injury to a disabled person.

The other two charges carry a maximum state prison term of five years each, according to the Essex district attorney’s office.

Sean Sposito can be reached at ssposito@globe.com.