SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

November 2, 2013

Hearing set on new trial for mom

Guilty of attempted murder in son's cancer death

(Continued)

LaBrie’s new attorney, Michelle Menken, said original defense attorney Kevin James should have introduced Department of Social Services and other records concerning an incident in which Jeremy was removed from her custody when he was a toddler, to convince jurors that the reason LaBrie lied was her fear that he would be taken from her again.

James had concluded that such evidence could be prejudicial to LaBrie and harm her case.

Menken also argues that James failed to have his own pediatric oncologist testify at trial about how some parents become overwhelmed by the burden of caring for a sick child.

But prosecutors contend that the doctor — who had reached similar medical conclusions about the effects of withholding chemotherapy — would not have been permitted to testify about LaBrie’s state of mind, given that she was not his patient.

As for an error by James in providing more materials from his own psychiatric expert to the prosecution’s expert, prosecutors say that was a harmless error that would not have affected the prosecution expert’s conclusions.

LaBrie’s attorney also takes issue with Welch’s instructions to the jury.

During the pretrial proceedings, LaBrie and her lawyer never raised a possible defense — and, in fact, were late in disclosing their intention to offer a “diminished capacity” argument. During trial, James argued to the jury that LaBrie was emotionally unable to comply with the doctor’s orders to give Jeremy his medication, and so overcome by depression she didn’t really comprehend the effects of what she was doing.

In her own testimony, however, LaBrie told jurors that she simply couldn’t bring herself to give her son the medications because they made him feel sick, a conscious choice at odds with what her lawyer and a psychologist for the defense suggested.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Comments Tracker