U.K.-based airman to stand trial in infant’s death
Stars and Stripes October 15, 2009
RAF MILDENHALL, England — A U.S. airman based in England will stand trial next month in connection with the 2007 death of his 11-month-old son.
Airman 1st Class Angel Divino Santos of RAF Mildenhall’s 100th Security Forces Squadron is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of his son near the base in June 2007, according to a charge sheet provided by Mildenhall’s legal office. The name of the boy has not been released.
Santos allegedly killed the child by “smothering him by placing his hand over the mouth and nose,” according to the charge sheet.
Santos also is charged with child endangerment by culpable negligence for failing to seek or obtain medical care for the boy’s other injuries during the two weeks before the victim’s death.
In addition, Santos is charged with hitting and scratching his wife while at or near Avondale, Ariz., in August or September 2007, according to the charge sheet.
And he faces other charges relating to various incidents of abuse and neglect of the child, including fracturing the child’s ribs by pressing on his chest; biting the child on the chin and biting him on the leg, according to the charge sheet.
The trial is scheduled to begin the week of Nov. 9 at Arizona’s Luke Air Force Base, according to Mildenhall spokesman Master Sgt. Charles Tubbs.
Prosecutors requested a change of venue from England to Arizona on Sept. 15 due to witness availability, and military judge Col. William Orr granted the motion on Oct. 6, according to Tubbs.
Santos, who is still stationed at Mildenhall, declined comment last week when contacted by Stars and Stripes.