A man who allegedly bruised his son and left his shoe print on the boy's forehead
and the boy's mother, who allegedly threatened to kill the boy if he told
, were indicted Thursday by a Dona Ana County grand jury on child abuse charges.
Jeffrey Charles Putnam
Jr., 23 , and Melissa Lopez-Putnam
, 28, of Las Cruces remain jailed at the Dona Ana County Detention Center.
Las Cruces police detectives began their investigation after the 7-year-old arrived at school two weeks ago and apparently told school officials he was afraid to go home
. Detectives learned that Jeffrey Putnam allegedly punched the boy the night before and placed his foot on the boy's head and neck. In photographs, bruising on the boy's head and neck matched the Lugz boots Jeffrey Putnam was wearing
when he was interviewed by detectives.
The boy was also allegedly thrown to the ground, kicked, punched repeatedly, and then had his face slammed into a table
, causing the child to bleed, as his father allegedly yelled profanities at him, according to Putnam's bond information form. The alleged beating took place in front of the boy's four younger siblings.
Putnam was arrested for criminal domestic violence in 2007 in South Carolina. On his MySpace profile, he lists, among his heroes, "My children, who see life through innocent eyes" and describes himself as a "Father, Husband, and ass****, in that order." On Lopez-Putnam's MySpace profile, she describes herself as a mother of seven children.
Investigators also believe Melissa Lopez-Putnam knew of her husband's actions but failed to report the incident and threatened the boy with violence if he told anyone.