A 38-year-old Massachusetts mother was convicted of attempted murder Tuesday for withholding chemotherapy medications from her autistic, cancer-stricken son, Jeremy Fraser, who died in 2009 at the age of nine.
Jurors dismissed the mother’s claim that she thought the medications were harming her son and would kill him, and also found her guilty of child endangerment and assault and battery for failing to give Fraser cancer medications for at least five months after the boy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2006.
In her closing arguments, Assistant District Attorney Kate MacDougall said LaBrie didn’t show the normal emotional response of a mother losing her child when she lost custody in February 2008, and then reportedly got a haircut and took vacations.
"Tell everybody I'm OK. It's going to be OK. I love you, too," LaBrie said after the verdict was announced.
The panel of seven women and five men, who also heard from Jeremy’s oncologist Dr. Alison Friedmann of Massachusetts General Hospital who had testified that she told LaBrie her son's cancer had a cure rate of 85 percent to 90 percent if she followed the treatment plan properly, began deliberating for five hours Monday and reached a verdict early Tuesday morning.
After the verdict, defense attorney Kevin James asked for a continuance so he could make a better argument for sentencing. Judge Richard Welch, who said that LaBrie had been convicted of "very serious crimes," set a sentencing hearing for 9 a.m. Friday. The attempted murder charge carries a maximum possible sentence of 20 years.