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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Chicago Area Man Kills Ex's 11-Year-Old Son by Stabbing Him After Relentlessly Taunting His Mother

Jayden Perkins

A Chicago area man, Crosetti Brand, attacked his ex-girlfriend, Laterria Smith, with a knife, which ended in him stabbing her 11-year-old son, Jayden Perkins, to death after he came to his mother's aid. Laterria is pregnant and is reportedly in critical condition from the attack.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Crosetti Brand, 37, was released from the Stateville Correctional Center on Tuesday after having been sent back to prison earlier this year for menacing the pregnant woman while on parole. The next day, Brand allegedly forced his way into Laterria's Edgewater apartment, stabbed her repeatedly, then stabbed her son Jayden Perkins when the boy came to her aid.

Crosetti Brand. Photo/Chicago Police Department

Brand relentlessly taunted the mother of the 11-year-old. Smith repeatedly asked for help from authorities in the weeks before the attack, including seeking an emergency order of protection that was denied by a Cook County judge, per the Chicago Sun-Times. Amanda Pyron, executive director of The Network Advocating Against Domestic Violence, said officials treated the woman's case with "an indifference bordering on malice." Brand has a long criminal history that dates back to at least 2004 in Cook County. He has been convicted of domestic battery and violating orders of protection in several cases, according to the CST. The mother had been alerted when Brand was released on parole in October because she was the victim in previous domestic violence cases against Brand, including repeated violations of protection orders. Just months after his release, the woman received a text message from Brand on Jan. 30 threatening her family, prosecutors said. Two days later, he allegedly appeared at the door of her apartment building in the 5900 block of North Ravenswood Avenue.

Although it was reported to law enforcement that he appeared at her home, the correct measures were not taken to protect the 33-year-old mother. The Chicago Sun-Times reports: Prosecutors said the woman informed the state parole officials. When confronted by a commander from the Illinois Department of Corrections, Brand admitted going to the woman's home but claimed he was "looking for an apartment." Still, Brand was sent back to prison while the Illinois Prisoner Review Board considered the allegations, prosecutors said. The board held a hearing and "determined the alleged violations did not meet the preponderance of evidence standard," it said in a statement, adding that Brand was "returned to parole on March 12 and notifications were made again to registered victims." The board did not say why they did not find Brand in violation of his parole, given Brand's criminal record and his past experience with the woman. (Story continues after video)

In the meantime, the woman sought an emergency protection order. During a Feb. 21 hearing, the woman told Judge Thomas Nowinski that Chicago police didn't let her file a report when she called about Brand. Instead, they told her to get a protection order. "They asked me, do I have one currently," she said, "and I told them no." At no time during the hearing did the judge ask questions about the alleged texts or Brand's visit to the home, according to a transcript. Nowinski decided against issuing an order, even though the woman testified under oath that she had previously sought one against Brand in 2009. The judge ruled there was no apparent emergency because Brand was behind bars again. There's no indication in the transcript that the judge knew how long Brand would be jailed.

The judge scheduled a hearing for this past Wednesday, but by then the attack had already happened. The woman was on her phone with her mother, shortly before 8 a.m. Wednesday, when she opened the door of her apartment and Brand allegedly forced his way in. The woman's mother said she could hear her daughter screaming "no" and using a nickname for Brand as he repeatedly stabbed her, according to prosecutors. Then the line went dead. The woman's son Jayden "attempted numerous times to help his mother and was also stabbed," prosecutors said. The knife severed a major artery, and the boy bled to death.

The woman was able to lock herself into a bedroom, and Brand finally left after kicking at the door, prosecutors said. He was allegedly caught on several surveillance cameras fleeing, including one that showed him tossing a "silver item" over a fence. A bloody knife was later found there. The woman, who was four months pregnant, later identified Brand as the attacker. She and her unborn baby were expected to survive, prosecutors said. After hearing the graphic details of the attack, Judge Maryam Ahmad ordered Brand detained on murder, attempted murder, home invasion, armed robbery and other charges.

Laterria and Jayden were described as special people. A neighbor reported, "She was a lovable woman, her son was very well-mannered and spoke to me all the time," she said. "I pray for the family. It's sad. I pray for her baby's father. I hope they get over this tragedy, and they grieve. It's tragic, I hope it never happens to anyone, ever again. Jayden's school, Helen C. Peirce School Of International Studies, released a statement about his passing and set up a fund in his honor.

Most of this article was written based on information reported from the Chicago Sun-Times; and this story will be updated. To subscribe to Volume 82, click the link.

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