Parole Board Members Step Down After Decision Leads to Murder

( – The Chicago Police Department recently issued a press release detailing the arrest of Crosetti Brand, 37, by members of the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Chicago Police Department on March 13, shortly after noon. The notice advised that investigators identified him as the alleged offender who forced entry into a private residence, fatally stabbed an 11-year-old victim, and critically injured a pregnant adult female. A five-year-old was also in the house but wasn’t injured.

Suspect Charged

Law enforcement officials charged Brand with multiple felony counts, including first-degree murder and attempted murder in the first degree. They also filed charges involving robbery, aggravated domestic battery, violation of an order, and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon.

Two Prisoner Review Board (PRB) members stepped down a few days after the panel’s recent decision to approve Brand’s parole. Prison officials released the convicted felon one day before he committed his heinous crime, ending an innocent child’s life.

Parole Board Members Step Down

On March 25, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker (D) announced the resignation of the PRB members. He praised former PRB Chair Donald Shelton’s 13+ years of service on the panel after a “lengthy career” as a police officer.

Pritzker said Shelton faithfully served Illinois residents and provided a “model of dedication to public service.” Ironically, he noted that the former PRB head “worked diligently” to ensure the safety of Illinoisans and uphold the state justice system’s mission.

The Democratic governor took a different approach when announcing the resignation of PRB member LeAnn Miller. He readily conceded that review board members needed the authority to operate independently as they review complex pardon and parole cases. However, he said he thought Miller made the “correct decision” to step down from the panel.

Continuing, Pritzker explained that the underlying facts surrounding Brand’s release showed the PRB didn’t give his case the “careful consideration” that domestic violence victims “deserve.” He also said he was committed to ensuring that state officials expanded training and provided additional safeguards to prevent tragedies like the one that claimed 11-year-old Jayden Perkins’ life didn’t happen again.

Pritzker noted that his thoughts were with Laterria Smith, Brand’s other victim, and Perkins’ mother, as the state mourns her loss. “May his memory be a blessing,” he concluded.

Tragically, local media outlets reported that an Illinois judge had rejected Smith’s petition for a protective order against Brand in February. They had previously been in a romantic relationship, and she feared for her safety if the PRB authorized his release.

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