A jailhouse letter, in which a former boyfriend takes responsibility for the death of a convicted child killer's son, is a forgery.
The handwritten missive was not written by the boyfriend, but was penned by Melissa McLain on Oct. 10, three days after she was convicted of her toddler's murder.
McLain was pretending to be Tommy Manan, her former boyfriend. The letter said McLain is innocent and that Manan is the killer of the child.
The letter was sent to Broome County Judge Martin E. Smith, who presided over McLain's trial.
Initially, Manan was a suspect in the death of McLain's son, but eventually he was ruled out by Endicott detectives.
Two-year-old Shaedon M.J.M. McLain-McNeal was badly beaten and brain dead when he was rushed to the hospital Oct. 19, 2007. Almost a year later, on Oct. 7, a jury decided the boy's mother killed him.
The Endicott woman was supposed to be sentenced Friday to up to 25 years to life in prison. Instead, Smith postponed sentencing until Jan. 9 to allow McLain's attorney to watch a videotape of investigators interviewing Manan in jail about the letter.
The 29-year-old Manan is behind bars awaiting deportation to his native Dominican Republic. Manan is a sex offender, trial testimony revealed.
Manan, who lived with McLain, 24, in Endicott at the time Shaedon was killed, testified against the woman.
Court documents say the handwriting in the letter matches McLain's handwriting. A misspelled word in the letter is repeated in another letter McLain wrote to a friend.
The letter was sent from the Broome County Jail, where both Manan and McLain are housed in separate units.
The letter writer, claiming to be Manan, said he'll return to the Dominican Republic without being charged with Shaedon's death. Manan has repeatedly denied he beat or killed Shaedon. Manan denied writing the letter.
A Broome County jury convicted McLain of one felony count each of second-degree murder, and first- and second-degree manslaughter in Shaedon's death.