(NECN: Lauren Collins, Lawrence, Mass.) - She was the single mom and sole caregiver of an autistic boy stricken with cancer. Now she could spend decades in jail.
On Tuesday a jury convicted Kristen LaBrie of attempted murder, assault and battery, and child endangerment. She held back tears as her family and friends shook their heads in disbelief.
“I don’t think that my sister had any intentions of hurting Jeremy, ever. I never will believe that in my life,” said LaBrie’s sister, Elizabeth O’Keefe.
O’Keefe told reporters outside court the state was wrong when it depicted LaBrie as a resentful and vindictive woman who purposely risked Jeremy Fraser’s life when she withheld his chemotherapy drugs. The boy – first diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006 – died two years ago.
“You’d have to be there to see what she was going through,” explained O’Keefe in LaBrie’s defense. “We loved Jeremy more than any little boy in this whole world.”
Last week LaBrie testified she didn’t fill all of Jeremy’s prescriptions because she was afraid the side effects would kill him. Her lawyer claimed LaBrie suffered from a diminished mental state – overwhelmed and exhausted by the constant care he required.
Jurors deliberated for six and a half hours over two days before reaching their verdict – one that Jeremy’s aunt and uncle say brings them relief:
"My brother's looking down upon us right now," said Andrew Fraser of Jeremy's father Eric who died in a motorcycle crash in 2009. "(He's) smiling, playing with his son and as of Friday we'll have closure to all of this."