Man who sent photos of slain wife to friends gets life in prison

Christopher Fratantonio (center), appears in a Barnstable, Massachusetts courtroom on February, 28, 2017, after police accused him of stabbing his wife to death and sending her friends photos of her corpse.

CBS Boston

BARNSTABLE, Mass. -- A Massachusetts man who fatally stabbed his wife then sent photos of her body to friends saying he had killed her and needed someone to care for their children has been sentenced to life in prison. The Cape Cod Times reports that Christopher Fratantonio received the mandatory sentence of life without parole following his first-degree murder conviction Friday in the February 2017 killing of 35-year-old Mary Fratantonio inside their Barnstable home.

Prosecutors say the couple's 6-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son were at home at the time and the boy was in one of the photos.

Mary Fratantonio, who also went by "Molly," was a special education teacher at Barnstable High School. Joy Pineo, a student's mother, told CBS Boston in an interview soon after the murder that Mary Fratantonio was known for celebrating students' kindness over academic achievements.

"She wanted to help. She was kind. Loving and so supportive. She was a great neighbor. Great mom," Pineo said.

The victim's family says Christopher Fratantonio was controlling. He told police his wife was cruel, demanding and belittling.

His lawyer says her client has mental health issues and post-traumatic stress stemming from child sex abuse.