By Jay Lindsay, Associated Press

LAWRENCE (AP) – A Massachusetts woman accused of withholding cancer treatment from her autistic son has begun testifying in her own defense.

Kristen LaBrie of Salem is charged with attempted murder for allegedly denying her son, Jeremy Fraser, chemotherapy medications for at least five months after he was diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer.

On Thursday, LaBrie testified in Lawrence Superior Court that her son suffered from numerous allergies before being diagnosed with autism as a toddler.

She said he required constant care.

LaBrie’s attorney says she was worn down from caring for her son and made a “tragic” — not criminal — mistake in stopping his medication.

Testimony resumes Friday.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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