SALEM, Mass. – A woman accused of withholding cancer treatment from her autistic son by canceling appointments and not filling prescriptions pleaded not guilty Monday to an attempted murder charge in the boy's death.
Kristen LaBrie was ordered held on $15,000 cash bail during her arraignment Monday in Salem Superior Court. She did not speak during the brief hearing, except to enter the pleas to attempted murder, child endangerment and other charges.
LaBrie's son, Jeremy, had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2006. He was 9 when he died in March.
Prosecutors say LaBrie, 37, canceled appointments for chemotherapy treatment, did not fill at least half her son's prescriptions and tried to deceive doctors into believing she was giving the boy the proper care.
Her attorney, Kevin James, said Monday that LaBrie was a victim, had financial trouble and took care of the boy on her own.
LaBrie had earlier been charged with child endangerment; a grand jury returned the more serious indictment Friday.
The boy's father, Eric Fraser, was divorced from LaBrie. He said he and LaBrie shared custody of the boy until about a year ago, when she signed over her parental rights and he was given full custody.
Fraser, 38, of Saugus, said Jeremy was a happy kid who enjoyed riding dirt bikes and swimming at a family cottage in Tamworth, N.H.
Before the arraignment, he declined to speak specifically about the case against LaBrie, other than to say, "I am relieved that it is moving forward."
"In due time I'll be able to speak my piece but for now I'll keep my mouth shut," he said.