HomeTop HeadlinesBoy Killed While Trying to Shield His Mother

Boy Killed While Trying to Shield His Mother

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Jayden Perkins, an 11-year-old boy, was tragically killed as he tried to defend his mother against a domestic violence assault.

The fatal incident transpired on March 13, around 8 a.m., when Crosetti Brand, 37, breached a protection order and invaded the residence of Laterria Smith, the boy’s pregnant mother. Brand attacked both Smith, 33, and her son, just as they were preparing to leave for school, according to police reports. Jayden was stabbed in the chest and his other was stabbed multiple times.

Brand, who had recently been granted parole after serving 16 years for a prior home invasion, was subsequently charged on March 15. His charges include first-degree murder, attempted murder, home invasion with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, and domestic battery, among other offenses.

This event marks the latest in a series of altercations with law enforcement related to domestic violence by Brand. Police records reveal that he has violated orders of protection three times in the past.

Smith’s had a relationship with Brand over 15 years ago. She also has a documented record of attempts to guard herself against him since their former romantic connection.

A previous girlfriend of Brand, in a recent phone conversation, shared her disbelief at his early release. Court documents reveal that Brand had previously invaded the home of the ex-girlfriend, assaulted her, threatened her teenage son, and even threatened her with a firearm before assaulting and strangling her.

Despite serving a 16-year sentence for the burglary at his ex-girlfriend’s home, Brand was released on parole in October 2023. On February 1, authorities allege he threatened Smith. After violating his parole, he was returned to prison, only to be released again on March 12. The very next day, he attacked Smith and her son Jayden.

The incident has deeply affected the community, as expressed by Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling and Cook County State Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx. Foxx described the crime as one that “shocked our city to its core,” emphasizing the tragic loss of a young life and the violation of a mother’s safety in her own home. On Monday, March 25, the chairman of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board and a board member, involved in approving Brand’s parole, resigned in the aftermath of the killing.

Perkins was known for his outstanding character at Peirce Elementary School and the Gus Giordano Dance School. He had a passion for dance and performed lead roles in several school plays. The Gus Giordano Dance School shared heartfelt memories of Jayden, highlighting his infectious laughter and kind nature. A fundraiser in his memory celebrated him as a young man who left a lasting impression on his school and dance community.

In the courtroom, family members attempted to confront Brand, with security personnel intervening to escort them out of the George N. Leighton Criminal Courthouse. Despite the disruption, they were not held in contempt of court.

Smith, who is in her eighth month of pregnancy, survived the assault, as did her unborn child, and she is expected to make a full recovery.

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