Illinois Prisoner Review Board Member Resigns Amid Allegations of Paroled Offender’s Involvement in 11-Year-Old’s Death and Stabbing of Mother

Illinois Prisoner Review Board Member Resigns Amid Allegations of Paroled Offender’s Involvement in 11-Year-Old’s Death and Stabbing of Mother

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An image of Jayden Perkins is seen at a memorial on March 15, 2024.



CNN
 — 

The Illinois governor announced the resignation of a member of the state’s prisoner review board on Monday, 10 days after a man who was released on parole was charged with attacking a former girlfriend and killing her 11-year-old son.

LeAnn Miller recommended the release of 37-year-old Crosetti Brand and conducted the hearing that resulted in him being granted parole, according to the governor’s office. CNN has reached out to Miller for comment.

Brand is accused of stabbing Laterria Smith, 33, and killing her 11-year-old son, Jayden Perkins, as the child was trying to defend her in their Chicago apartment on March 13, officials said during a news conference held two days later.

Smith’s 5-year-old son was also in the apartment and witnessed the stabbings, police said.

During the news conference, Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling said the violent attack “should not have happened,” because Brand had previously violated protection orders. “He has three orders of protection violations against him,” Snelling said.

Snelling said Brand had been released on parole the day before the attack, noting the suspect was “still serving a 16-year sentence for home invasion where he caused injury.”

This was the suspect’s second stint on parole, Antoinette Ursitti, the chief of Chicago’s Bureau of Detectives, said during the March 15 news conference.

Ursitti said Brand was put back in custody on a parole violation after he threatened the 33-year-old victim, with whom he’d had a relationship over 15 years ago, via text messages and showed up at her house.

Chicago Police Department

Crosetti Brand

Brand has been charged with nine felony counts, Ursitti said, including first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

The Prisoner Review Board told CNN in a statement on Thursday they did not know Smith was seeking an order of protection.

“At the time of (Brand’s) hearing, the Prisoner Review Board did not have any information to indicate that the victim was currently petitioning for an Order of Protection at the trial court level, or any pending hearings associated with her petition. This is not information generally provided to the Board. As a result, the PRB was not able to take that new, important information into consideration,” the statement read.

A court order obtained by CNN shows Smith went to court on February 21 requesting an emergency order of protection. The judge denied the request, saying Smith “presented insufficient evidence of an emergency.” The order states Smith’s case was to continue on March 13 — the same day the family was attacked.

Late last week, the Prisoner Review Board’s general counsel Kahalah Clay told CNN in a statement that after Brand was taken back into custody in February, “A PRB hearing determined the alleged violations did not meet the standards to detain him.”

The board is a bipartisan, independent group whose members are appointed by the Illinois governor, who issued a statement Monday, saying it was “clear that evidence in this case was not given the careful consideration that victims of domestic violence deserve.”

Gov. JB Pritzker went on to say he was “committed to ensuring additional safeguards and training are in place to prevent tragedies like this from happening again.”

fundraiser for Jayden’s family set up by the 11-year-old’s schools describes him as “an exceptional young man” who excelled in school and had a passion for theater, performing the lead role in several school plays. “He was known for his love of spending time with friends, playing sports, and performing. His infectious laughter and kind heart touched the lives of everyone he met,” the fundraiser states.

Later on Monday, the governor announced the resignation of the review board’s chair, Donald Shelton.

“Donald Shelton served the state of Illinois in his role with the PRB for over a decade, providing a model of dedication to public service,” Pritzker said. It is unclear if Shelton’s resignation is related to the March incident.

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