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Woman sentenced to prison in death of cancer-stricken autistic son

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Kristen LaBrie is sentenced Friday to spend eight to 10 years in prison
  • Prosecutors argued that LaBrie intentionally withheld medications from her son
  • LaBrie's attorney has said that the system failed his client

(CNN) -- A Massachusetts woman convicted of attempted murder after failing to properly care for her cancer-stricken son was sentenced Friday to spend eight to 10 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Kristen LaBrie, 38, also was ordered to serve five years on probation and to complete an anger management program, said Essex County district attorney spokesman Steve O'Connell.

Prosecutors argued during LaBrie's trial that she intentionally withheld medications and medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, from her son, Jeremy Fraser.

Fraser, an autistic child who at age 6 was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, was recuperating and his cancer was in remission. But in 2009 he died of leukemia. He was 9 years old.

Prosecutors argued that LaBrie's negligence was a factor that contributed to her son's death, allowing the cancer to spread after it had been beaten back into remission.

LaBrie had faced a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the crime. She will be eligible for parole after eight years, O'Connell said.

She was sentenced to probation for convictions of child endangerment and assault and battery.

LaBrie's attorney said earlier that the system failed his client.

"Some of the times when people have mental problems they have a hard time reaching out. That's the purpose of social workers. Social workers are supposed to be able to detect when people have problems. The social workers on this case failed to do that. Certainly the warning signs were there," attorney Kevin James said on HLN's "Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell."

"Why didn't the people that knew better, why didn't they come forward and help?" he asked.