Illinois parole board member, chair resign after 11-year-old's stabbing death

The governor has called for reviews of domestic violence-related policies.

March 26, 2024, 3:09 PM

The Illinois parole board chair and a member who oversaw the parole hearing for Crosetti Brand -- who is accused of stabbing an-ex-girlfriend and killing her 11-year-old son -- have stepped down from their roles, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced Monday.

"The Prisoner Review Board [PRB] must be able to operate independently as they review enormously difficult cases, but I believe LeAnn Miller has made the correct decision in stepping down from her role,” Pritzker said, concerning the board member's resignation.

Brand is accused in the stabbing attack that wounded Laterria Smith and killed her son, 11-year-old Jayden Perkins, who was “trying to protect his mother” in the March 13 incident, said the office of Cook County State's Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx. According to police, Smith has an order of protection against Brand.

Brand was out on parole when the incident occurred. He was serving a 16-year sentence for a home invasion and currently has three orders of protection violations against him, according to police. ABC News has reached out to Brand’s legal team.

Chief of Detectives Antoinette Ursitti, in a March 15 press conference, said Brand had been "paroled and placed on electronic monitoring last October. While he was on parole, he threatened the female victim via text and also showed up at her home. He was sent back to prison in February for this parole violation."

Miller oversaw Brand's parole hearing, according to Pritzker's office. ABC News has reached out to Miller for comment.

Brand has been charged with murder, attempted murder, home invasion with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, domestic battery, and other charges in connection with the stabbing incident.

PHOTO: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks to auto workers before the arrival of President Joe Biden at the Community Complex Building, Nov. 9, 2023, in Belvidere, Ill.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker speaks to auto workers before the arrival of President Joe Biden at the Community Complex Building, Nov. 9, 2023, in Belvidere, Ill.
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Pritzker continued, “It is clear that evidence in this case was not given the careful consideration that victims of domestic violence deserve and I am committed to ensuring additional safeguards and training are in place to prevent tragedies like this from happening again."

ABC News has reached out to the PRB regarding Brand's release.

PRB chair Donald Shelton also resigned after serving on the board since September of 2012. A reason is not explicitly stated in the announcement.

"Donald Shelton served the state of Illinois in his role with the PRB for over a decade, providing a model of dedication to public service," said Pritzker. "During his time with the Champaign Police Department and with the PRB he worked diligently to keep Illinoisans safe and uphold our justice system, and I thank him for his service."

ABC News has reached out to Shelton for comment.

Pritzker said he will announce appointments to fill PRB vacancies "following a thorough search."

The incident has highlighted the city's handling of domestic violence cases in the city.

"An innocent child's life was taken to try to protect his mother, far too soon, and a mother was attacked in what should have been the safest place for her, which was her home," said Foxx.

Pritzker said his office has asked the PRB to "engage experts and advocates to design and implement expanded training for PRB members related to handling domestic violence cases." He said he has directed the PRB and state Department of Corrections to review policies for receiving information on domestic violence cases to determine "whether changes are necessary."

"As the administration continues to review the facts in this case, it may pursue any broader statutory or policy changes needed to strengthen PRB's review of similar cases moving forward," his announcement continued.