ME - Parents and grandmother charged in death of 10-year old - February 28, 2024


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Dec 3, 2023
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The child’s father, Joshua Smith, 33; mother, Jem Bean, 35; and paternal grandmother, Mistie Latourette, 56, all of Bangor, were charged with depraved indifference murder.

A child's death is reported by the Bangor, Maine, police. The child was a 10 year-old boy whose name has not been released.
The parents and a grandmother have been charged with the death. They have been charged with depraved indifference murder.
We've lost another child, folks. SMH.
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The charges of depraved indifference murder suggest that the accused displayed a wanton disregard for human life, leading to the boy's death. In Maine, such charges carry the weight of potential life sentences, underscoring the gravity of the accusations.
Bangor Tragedy: Parents, Grandmother Charged with Depraved Indifference Murder of 10-Year-Old
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A bit about Bangor, ME - -
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Bangor is a city in Maine. On Main Street, a towering statue of folkloric lumberjack Paul Bunyan hints at Bangor’s former status as a timber hub. The Maine Discovery Museum has hands-on exhibits on nature, science and the arts, geared to kids. Nearby, the University of Maine Museum of Art focuses on modern and contemporary works. To the north, Bangor City Forest is crossed by trails and inhabited by beaver and deer. ― Google
Population: 31,921 (2021)
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Beginning at timestamp 1:04 - Two neighbors were interviewed by the News Channel regarding concerning behaviors they observed.

Man: "Small kid pushing around a lawnmower, unsupervised. I've had to watch him out of my kitchen window to make sure he didn't, you know, hurt himself -- fall under the mower, or something."

Woman: "My son asked if he could play and he was never allowed to and we would assume he might have been visiting. I feel like maybe I could have seen something over the summertime, and maybe done something. It's really disappointing and tragic."

The 10-year-old boy was brought to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, more than a week ago, and died there. Autopsy performed by the Chief Medical Examiner's Office determined the manner of death to be homicide.
Parents and grandmother charged in death of Bangor child
"[The mother of the child] Jem Bean works for the Department of Health and Human Services at Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Hospital in Bangor in an administrative position, DHHS spokesperson Lindsay Hammes said. She does not do direct patient care or interact with children or Child Protective Services, Hammes said."

Oh, such a pity, as I know she'd be so good at that.
On February 18, 10-year-old Braxtyn Smith was taken to a hospital in Bangor with life threatening injuries.

Bangor Police and Maine DHHS were notified.

Police say the child died that night.

An autopsy done by the Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta determined the child’s death was a homicide.
The affidavit describes the boy as appearing malnourished. Records showed he was later found to be 48 pounds, 7 pounds lighter than the lowest percentile for his age and gender. His vomit also allegedly had the appearance and smell of pet food.

Medical personnel at the hospital also became concerned that he had bruises on his face and body. Bean reportedly told hospital staff that the boy tended to throw himself on the ground when he had "temper tantrums," resulting in the bruises.

A Bangor detective who responded to the hospital reportedly saw scans of the boy's head that showed bleeding between his brain and skull.

Though Bean allegedly denied any physical abuse in the home, the affidavit says Bean told investigators that the boy was "defiant" and "stubborn." She said both she and Smith used zip ties to secure him in a chair, allegedly believing it would keep him from getting "into things." Officials later recovered zip ties from the Birch Hill Estates home.

The boy's grandmother described the boy as "attention-seeking," allegedly suggesting that the parents would withhold food as punishment.

Latourette and Bean allegedly homeschooled the boy all his life. Text messages between Latourette and Smith reportedly showed conversations in which they called the boy vulgar words and threatened to harm him.

Court documents showed that an unnamed person told investigators that the boy ate dog food and ate out of the trash can. The person also said he was tied up and hit in the head.
The court affidavit states that the 10-year-old was severely underweight for his age, with hospital staff reportedly telling the investigator that the boy weighed just 48 pounds when he arrived at the hospital, and that he had multiple visible bruises on his body, face, abdomen and extremities that did not appear to be caused by accidents.

The documents also say that the boy's CT scan showed bleeding on his brain, and that family members often used zip ties to restrain him inside the home.

Joshua Smith, Jem Bean, and Mistie Latourette did not enter pleas at their arraignment on Friday, and the judge ordered them to have no communication with each other or with another child of Smith and Bean's, according to News Center Maine. The next court date in this case has not yet been scheduled
“Someone failed this little boy and we need to find out who so we can do a better job at preventing repeats in the future,” said Diamond, founder of Walk a Mile in Their Shoes, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing child homicides and child abuse in Maine.

It’s unclear if the Maine Department of Health and Human Services was involved in the situation.

Spokesperson Lindsay Hammes said the agency is barred from commenting on the case but she confirmed that Bean is a DHHS administrative employee at Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Hospital in Bangor. Bean's position does not involve direct patient care or interaction with children or the DHHS Child Protective Services, Hammes said.
Just a guess on my part that the redacted might be a sibling.

On 02/20/2024, [redacted] was interviewed at the Penquis Child Advocacy Center by Forensic Interviewer [redacted]. Braxtyn’s [redacted] and also resided at 24 B Street with the family. During the course of the interview, [redacted] disclosed that Braxtyn “eats dog food” and that Braxtyn sleeps in the bathroom. [redacted] disclosed that Braxtyn is zip-tied and stated “mom tried to hit in head” and that Braxtyn eats out of the trash can and is bad. [redacted] stated mommy and dad use zip ties and “zip Brody up.” It was confirmed in the interview that [redacted] calls Braxtyn “Brody.” When asked how Braxtyn is zip tied, [redacted] put [redacted] wrists together in front of [redacted] to demonstrate.

Superior Court Criminal Action Docket NO. CR-2024 618
More at: Grim details revealed in affidavit of murdered Bangor boy
Poor boy. :(

Smith said he started to zip tie Braxtyn almost daily. He looped the zip ties long enough so that Braxtyn could go to the bathroom. He said Braxtyn recently hurt his mouth trying to chew through the ties, court records state.

His caretakers are who failed him. If he was "homeschooled" then it's quite possible no one outside the home saw him for any length of time.

I was homeschooled and the only people outside the home I ever spent time with were at church for the 2-3 hours that services were held.

There's a vid in this MSM. Pics below are taken from the vid. Looking at those pics it's hard to wrap my head around someone looking so happy and cared for came to an end like he did. I wonder what went wrong? And I don't think what went wrong had anything to do with Braxton. It's just all so sad.

The community is still reeling after court documents revealed months of abuse and neglect that 10-year-old Braxtyn Smith endured before he died in February.

His parents and paternal grandmother are facing murder charges for his death.

A memorial has been set up at the house he lived in, and a candlelight vigil is scheduled for this weekend to honor his life

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why did they call him Brody if his name is Braxtyn? Like they just forgot his name but remembered it starts with a B? It's not a diminutive form of the same name, or even a cutsie shortened version - it's a totally different name. Weird. Without more context, this speaks volumes to me.
why did they call him Brody if his name is Braxtyn? Like they just forgot his name but remembered it starts with a B? It's not a diminutive form of the same name, or even a cutsie shortened version - it's a totally different name. Weird. Without more context, this speaks volumes to me.

Sometimes younger siblings mispronounce a name and it sticks. I can see a toddler making a portmanteau of “brother” and “Braxtyn” or Brody coming from a toddler saying “brudder.”
Sometimes younger siblings mispronounce a name and it sticks. I can see a toddler making a portmanteau of “brother” and “Braxtyn” or Brody coming from a toddler saying “brudder.”
AH! I assumed it was an adult person who was calling him that. Redaction action oopsie I guess, thank you for straightening that out - I agree it is totally possible and plausible and understandable with what has been confirmed so far.

Context matters.

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