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Jayden Perkins, an 11-year-old boy from Chicago, was fatally stabbed while trying to protect his 33-year-old mother from her abusive ex-boyfriend. Authorities say 37-year-old Crosetti Brand is the man allegedly responsible for the gifted student’s fatal stabbing. 

According to a press release from the Chicago Police Department, the gruesome attack occurred on March 13 around 12: 20 p.m. near the 5900 block of North Ravenswood Avenue. 

Brand — a convicted felon with a lengthy criminal history — was on parole and serving a 16-year sentence for home invasion and aggravated assault when he forced entry into the matriarch’s home and attacked her, Chicago Police Superintendent Larry Snelling confirmed at a press conference on March 15.

Brand and Perkins’s 33-year-old mother had a romantic relationship more than 15 years ago that allegedly turned sour. The matriarch had an active order of protection placed against him at the time of the incident, authorities said. During the heinous stabbing, Perkins “tried to protect his mother,” who was four months pregnant, during the brutal domestic attack, Cook County Attorney Kim Foxx said, WGN 9 noted.

According to Snelling, Brand allegedly stabbed her “multiple times” and fatally stabbed 11-year-old Perkins in the chest as he tried to shield his mother. Her 5-year-old son was also present and witnessed the assault, but he was not injured during the incident.

The 33-year-old matriarch and Perkins were rushed to a nearby hospital. The 11-year-old honor roll student succumbed to his injuries. His mother was initially admitted in critical condition, but at Friday’s press conference, Chicago officials said she was expected to survive the unthinkable attack.

“This mom’s life is now forever changed. Along with being brutally attacked, stabbed multiple times… she has to face the fact that she will never see, touch or hug her 11-year-old son,” Snelling told reporters.

Community members from Jayden’s dance and elementary school have rallied together to create a fundraiser for the slain 11-year-old. 

Peirce Elementary and Gus Giordano Dance School have come together to create a fundraiser in honor of Perkins, which has reportedly received over $120,000 in donations, Block Club Chicago reported. Described as an “exceptional young man,” the talented preteen loved performing and theater. 

According to the campaign, Perkins had the “lead role in several school plays, including Finding Nemo at Peirce Elementary.” He was a respected member of his dance school at Gus Giordano.

“Jayden was always performing. And that gift radiated to everyone who shared the floor with him,” Amy Giordano, executive director of Gus Giordano Dance School, told Block Club Chicago. 

According to Giordano, the passionate student was enrolled in the dance school on a full-merit scholarship. He delved into approximately 12 different dance styles, ranging from hip-hop to ballet. Giordano also mentioned that Jayden had previously garnered attention from show-runners for a potential role portraying a young Michael Jackson.

The campaign fundraiser noted, “His positive energy and enthusiasm were contagious, and he will be remembered fondly by all who knew him.”

Brand was arrested and charged for the stabbing.

In October, Brand, a convicted felon, was granted parole for the second time and placed under electronic monitoring upon his release. However, in February, he was returned to prison after he allegedly attempted to enter Perkins’ mother’s home and sent her a threatening text.

Prosecutors stated that the victim promptly contacted the parole board, leading to Brand being returned to custody. However, he was subsequently released on parole again on March 12, just one day before the tragic incident occurred.

In a request for an Emergency Order of Protection filed on Feb. 21, the victim detailed Brand’s threats, stating that he sent “several text messages saying he would kill me and my family. He would wait outside my house and shoot me. I have pics,” according to court documents obtained by WGN 9.

Despite the matriarch’s plea, the judge denied the request for the Emergency Order of Protection. Instead, a hearing on the matter was scheduled for March 13. Tragically, by the time of the hearing, it was already too late. Illinois Department of Corrections records show that Brand violated an order of protection issued for the mother on three separate occasions in 2008, authorities noted. 

The felon has since been arrested and charged in connection to Perkins’ stabbing. Authorities charged the 37-year-old with first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, three counts of home invasion with a dangerous weapon, armed robbery, aggravated domestic battery, unlawful use of a weapon, violation of an order of protection, and a warrant has been issued for his parole violation.


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