Maine Grandmother Pleads Not Guilty to Depraved Indifference Murder Charge in Connection to Boy’s Death

Bangor, Maine – Mistie Latourette, 56, pleaded not guilty to a charge of depraved indifference murder in connection with the death of 10-year-old Braxtyn Smith. Latourette is one of three family members facing murder charges following the boy’s passing in February after he was taken to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The other suspects in the homicide case are Smith’s mother, Jem Bean, and his father, Joshua Smith. Each of their cases is being handled separately, with state prosecutors indicating the need to coordinate with their attorneys before setting a trial date for Latourette. Court documents revealed a disturbing pattern of abuse leading up to Braxtyn’s tragic death, including severe bruising and allegations of restraint with zip ties.

According to Bangor police and court records, Braxtyn was first taken to St. Joseph Hospital’s emergency room on Feb. 18, where nurses alerted Maine Department of Health and Human Services officials due to the severity of his injuries. The boy had to be resuscitated before being transferred to Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center, where he succumbed to his injuries later that night.

Medical examiners noted multiple bruises on Braxtyn’s body and face, as well as significant bleeding on his brain and skull. Further investigations revealed that the 10-year-old was severely underweight for his age and was often restrained inside his home using zip ties. Documents also disclosed that Braxtyn was homeschooled, with few people in the community having interacted with him.

In March, members of the Bangor community who never met Braxtyn held a vigil in his honor, expressing sorrow over the loneliness he may have felt. One attendee, Johanna Sanford, lamented, “If only we had heard your cries sooner. Braxtyn, you are loved. So very loved.” The community continues to mourn the loss of a young life, emphasizing the need for justice and accountability in the ongoing legal proceedings.

As the cases against Latourette, Bean, and Smith progress, the spotlight remains on the tragic circumstances surrounding Braxtyn Smith’s untimely death. The community seeks answers and closure in the wake of such a heartbreaking event, underscoring the importance of protecting vulnerable individuals from harm and ensuring that justice is served for those who have suffered.