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Monday, July 18, 2022

Leatrice Brewer: The Woman Who Killed But Didn't Murder Her Three Children

     In 2002 21-year-old Leatrice Brewer, while living with her grandmother, had her first baby, a girl she named Jewell. Leatrice and the baby's father, Ricky Ward, broke up shortly after the birth. Leatrice and her grandmother, Maebell Mickens, lived in New Cassel New York, a suburban community on Long Island 20 miles east of New York City.

     Brewer's grandmother, and her mother Pearly Mae Mickens, were mentally ill drug addicts. Leatrice, already showing signs of insanity, worked as a filing clerk at a law firm. She also had a part time job as a sales assistant at a Kohl's department store.

     Not long after the birth of her daughter Jewell, Leatrice began dating a man from Queens named Innocent Demesyeux. Less than a year later she gave birth to their son Michael. Leatrice continued to live with her grandmother, Maebell Mickens. Maebell, to help support her drug habit, was not above panhandling on the streets of New Cassel. At this time Leatrice continued to struggle with severe bouts of depression and drug dependancy.

     In 2006, Leatrice Brewer had a second child with Innocent Demesyeux, a boy who inherited his father's unusual first name. Shortly after Innocent's birth Maebell Mickens kicked Leatrice and her children out of her house.

     Leatrice Brewer and her three kids moved in to a small second-story apartment on Prospect Street in New Cassel. Without financial help from the children's fathers Leatrice continued to hold down two jobs. She also received rental assistance, food stamps and a stipend from the federal Women, Infants and Children program.

     As early as 2003 caseworkers from the state's Child Protective Service agency received complaints filed by neighbors and family members accusing Leatrice of child neglect. Every so often one of the fathers would call the local police to report that Leatrice, a six-foot woman who weighted more than 200 pounds, had hit one of the children. Notwithstanding these complaints she never lost custody of Jewell, Michael or Innocent.

     By 2007 Leatrice Brewer was too drug-addled and mentally ill to hold down a job. For days she would simply disappear from the apartment, leaving the child-raising to her 6-year-old daughter Jewell.

     In late February 2008 Leatrice called 911 and informed the dispatcher she had stabbed Jewell and drowned her in the bathtub. The distraught mother said she had also drowned Michael and Innocent. After talking to the 911 dispatcher she tried to kill herself by swallowing a concoction of household cleaning chemicals. When it appeared she couldn't commit suicide by poisoning herself, Leatrice Brewer jumped out of her second-story bedroom window.

      The mother's second attempt to kill herself also failed. Instead of the morgue she ended up at the Nassau University Medical Center with an injured back. The next day a county prosecutor charged her with three counts of murder.

     While being treated at the hospital, Leatrice Brewer told a visiting relative that "the voices took control and I had to do it."

     According to a battery of court-appointed psychiatrists, Leatrice Brewer suffered from a major depressive disorder that caused her to kill her children. She had been under the delusion that killing her kids would save them from something worse than death--the effects of voodoo.

     In 2009, Leatrice Brewer pleaded not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect. The judge sent her to a state psychiatric facility where the 28-year-old would reside and be treated until mental health experts and drugs made her sane enough to rejoin society.

     The Brewer case came back into the news in 2013 when Leatrice petitioned a judge for her share of her children's $350,000 estate. (I do not know the source of this wealth. Perhaps a wrongful death lawsuit had been filed against the state on the children's behalf that resulted in a court settlement.) Normally, under New York's Son of Sam law, convicted criminals are prohibited from profiting from their crimes. But in this case, Brewer, rather than being convicted of triple murder, had been found not guilty by reason of insanity. This raised the legal question of whether or not, under these circumstances, she was entitled to the money.

     In November 2013 a judge ruled that pursuant to the Son of Sam law Leatrice Brewer was not entitled to a piece of her dead children's estate.
     As of July 2022 Leatrice Brewer remains a patient at the Mid-Hudson Forensic Psychiatric Center at Long Island New York. 


  1. She threatened the lives of her children, after being denied an additional government check. This was reported, then covered up. Social justice pukes changed the narrative to blame social services workers, and falsely claim mental illness. This fat blob should get the death penalty.

  2. Jim,
    So according to the law, who will get the kid's estate?