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LeAnn Miller, a member of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, has resigned after approving the release of a man with a history of domestic violence who went on to allegedly kill an 11-year-old boy and injure his pregnant ex-girlfriend shortly after being released. The man, Crosetti Brand, was serving a 16-year sentence for home invasion and aggravated assault when he was granted early parole. Governor JB Pritzker acknowledged that proper consideration was not given to the evidence in this case and vowed to implement additional safeguards and training to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

Brand is facing charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder for the brutal attack that resulted in the death of Jayden Perkins and the injury of Laterria Smith. Brand, who was released from Stateville Correctional Center with electronic monitoring, allegedly stabbed Perkins as he tried to help his mother during the attack. The boy ultimately died from a severe knife wound that severed a major artery. Brand was arrested shortly after the incident, and authorities reported that Smith, who had a prior relationship with Brand, was preparing her sons for school when he broke into their home.

Brand had previously been in a relationship with Smith over 15 years ago and had a history of threatening behavior towards her. Despite having an order of protection against him, Brand continued to contact her and was sent back to prison for violating the terms of his parole before being released once again just weeks before the fatal attack. In 2015, Brand had also assaulted Smith shortly after she ended their relationship. The Illinois Prisoner Review Board, responsible for imposing release conditions and making parole decisions, will be reviewing its rules and procedures for cases involving domestic violence.

Governor Pritzker expressed his belief that the Prisoner Review Board must be able to operate independently and indicated his intention to appoint a new member to replace Miller, who was appointed in 2021. Pritzker emphasized the need for the board and the Illinois Department of Corrections to ensure proper information is considered in cases involving domestic violence. The tragic incident involving Brand’s release highlights the importance of thorough evaluation and consideration in parole decisions to prevent future tragedies from occurring.

The case has sparked outrage and calls for increased accountability and scrutiny in the parole process for violent offenders, particularly those with a history of domestic violence. The tragic death of Jayden Perkins and the injuries inflicted on Laterria Smith have underscored the need for stricter safeguards and measures to protect victims of domestic violence and prevent further harm. The resignation of LeAnn Miller, who approved Brand’s release, reflects the urgency of addressing systemic flaws and ensuring that such devastating incidents are prevented moving forward.

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