By Amanda Falcone, Hartford Courant
December 9, 2011
Reporting from Hartford, Conn.—
Charges against a Massachusetts man who was accused of helping his father, a prominent lawyer, commit suicide were dropped Thursday.
Prosecutor Thomas Garcia told Judge Joan Alexander that he didn't want to continue to pursue the charges against Bruce Brodigan, 57, of Somerville, Mass. The judge approved the request.
"I feel my client is happy that it's over," said Hubert Santos, Brodigan's lawyer.
In September 2010, Brodigan allegedly helped his father, George Brodigan of West Hartford, Conn., take his own life through an overdose of drugs and alcohol.
The elder Brodigan, who had Alzheimer's disease, died at home with a half-empty bottle of Mount Gay rum and a copy of Derek Humphry's "Final Exit," a guide to ending one's life, at his bedside.
Police said Bruce Brodigan said his father wanted to take his own life before he became incapacitated. He told police that his father's condition had declined and that there was talk about whether he could remain at his home without additional care.
"He loves his father and just wanted to relieve him of his pain," Santos said Thursday.
It is illegal in Connecticut to assist in another's suicide, and Brodigan was charged in January with second-degree manslaughter, tampering with or fabricating evidence, and providing a false statement.
Garcia said he decided to drop the charges after Judge David Gold, who was recently transferred to another Connecticut courtroom, told him he would not grant Brodigan a special form of probation, which would have allowed him to clear his record upon successful completion. Garcia said Gold told him that special probation could not be given to an individual when a death was involved.
Brodigan completed the 200 hours of community service that probably would have been required for the special probation anyway, the court learned Thursday. After speaking with Brodigan's family and learning about the community service, Garcia said he felt comfortable dropping the charges.
"There was no purpose of saddling him with a criminal record," Garcia said.
Copyright © 2011, The Hartford Courant