Illinois Parole Board Members Quit Amid Outcry Over Freeing 11-Year-Old Killer

( – Convicted criminal Crosetti Brand was serving a long stint in an Illinois prison for attacking his ex-girlfriend and threatening her son with a gun in 2015. When he was released on parole in 2023, the court notified another ex-girlfriend, Laterria Smith, that Brand was out. She, too, was a domestic violence victim of his who had requested a protective order against him, which was denied. After allegedly appearing at her door and violating his parole, Brand was re-arrested. But that didn’t last long.

What Happened?

Weeks after Brand’s re-incarceration, the parole board let him out again for reasons unknown. One day later, on March 13, he reportedly returned to Smith’s home and stabbed her and her 11-year-old son multiple times. The boy, Jayden Perkins, died from his chest wound, and his mother, who was eight months pregnant, was rushed to the hospital with a critical neck wound. She survived. Authorities said the mom was in the process of taking her kids to school when Brand forced his way inside the home and attacked. On March 26, the chair of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, Donald Shelter, and another board member, LeAnn Miller, stepped down from their positions.

Both the review board and the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDCC) initially claimed they didn’t know about the protective order before releasing Brand. However, an email from February told a different story. The IDCC subsequently found the email and apologized for the initial denial.

The Cook County Circuit Court Clerk’s office spoke with CBS 2, revealing that requests for orders of protection are “often filed in civil court” and “many agencies do not have access” to the system. However, it insisted there was a communication system in place to “protect victims” with pending protective orders. Circuit Clerk Iris Martinez relayed that her administration has “partnered with the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab to build a domestic violence dashboard and to provide best practices” to avoid any repeat occurrences.

Brand’s History

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said the suspect had a long “history of domestic violence.” She confirmed that the woman had a protective order against Brand from an incident in 2009, but her office later revealed it wasn’t sure it was still active. Foxx said there needs to be an investigation into what happened so it could be prevented in the future.

Brand is now facing several charges, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, domestic battery, home invasion, and armed robbery. During his initial court appearance, family members of the victims got very emotional, reportedly charging the suspect at the courthouse. The judge ordered Brand remanded.

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