SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts woman sentenced to up to 10 years in prison for withholding potentially life-saving medication from her autistic, cancer-stricken son is asking for a new trial.
An appeals lawyer for Kristen LaBrie of Salem wrote in a motion for a new trial that her trial lawyer was inexperienced and questioned some of the judge's instructions to the jury.
LaBrie was convicted in April 2011 of attempted murder for withholding at least five months of at-home chemotherapy treatments for her son, Jeremy Fraser. The boy died at age 9 in 2009. Jeremy was severely autistic, nonverbal and developmentally delayed. He was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma shortly after he turned 7 in 2006.
LaBrie withheld treatments and didn't tell his doctors because she no longer wanted to care for the boy, prosecutors alleged.
LaBrie testified at trial she could not bear the pain her son suffered after taking the medication.
Boston attorney Michelle Menken, who is handling the appeal, said in a 56-page motion that the conviction was "plainly attributable to the ineffective assistance of trial counsel," The Salem News (http://bit.ly/14XFalN ) reported.
LaBrie's trial attorney also had no experience trying a case in Superior Court and had never handled a case involving a mental health defense, Menken wrote.
The Essex district attorney's office has 90 days to respond to the motion.
Information from: The Salem (Mass.) News, http://www.salemnews.com
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