Free Me, She Confessed in Suicide Note: Dad

Father of beaten baby said his wife confessed in a suicide note

A New London man says he should be off the hook for accusations he beat his infant son. His wife confessed in a suicide note before she killed herself and sent the letter to him in prison, authorities said.

On March 31, Christopher "Eaglewolf" Santiago, 26, was charged with first-degree assault and risk of injury to a minor.

A week later, his wife, Charley French-Cochise, died from an overdose of the painkiller oxycodone, according to the medical examiner's office. Before her death, she sent a suicide note, with confession, to the prison where Santiago was being held, authorities say.

Santiago took his son to a hospital in August 2008, when the boy was 3 months old, police said. Doctors examined the boy, who had a fractured skull, 11 fractured ribs, a broken left leg and bruises and abrasions. The boy remains in state custody and is doing "fine" in foster care, said Santiago's lawyer, Peter Catania.

Santiago’s lawyer says his client was taking the rap for his wife to protect her, so the case should be thrown out.

"He was totally in love with her," Catania said. "He would have done anything to protect her."

New London cops said French-Cochise implicated her husband when she talked with detectives, but now prosecutors are taking a second look at the evidence.

"We are going to assess the case without her as a witness," prosecutor Theresa Anne Ferryman said.

Santiago also wants a visit with his son in the state prison in Montville, but Handy said in court last week that she doesn't believe that would be in the boy's best interest.

Prosecutors are reviewing the case.  Santiago is being held in lieu of $250,000 bond. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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