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Judge: No bond reduction for Saxonburg man who set boy on fire

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Photo courtesy of WPXI
Edward Myers pleaded no contest to a charge of setting his girlfriend's son on fire.
Friday, July 19, 2013, 12:12 p.m.
 

A Saxonburg man accused in a series of assaults on his girlfriend's son that ended with the boy being set on fire will remain in jail after a Butler County judge refused to lower his bond on Friday.

Judge William Shaffer denied the bond-reduction motion made by Edward Myers' attorney, Gerald Cassady, without comment, after a half-hour hearing.

Myers, 35, will stay in the Butler County jail pending trial for aggravated assault, related charges and two drug offenses unless he can raise the $250,000 bond.

Myers is accused of shooting his girlfriend's child with an Airsoft gun that fires plastic pellets causing bruises “all over his body,” according to Assistant District Attorney Richard Bosco.

Myers then allegedly doused the child with nail polish remover and watched as the liquid was set aflame.

The boy suffered third-degree burns on his chest, neck and face. He spent several weeks in UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh.

The incidents occurred May 25 after Myers' girlfriend left her son in his care for about seven hours. According to police, at least one of Myers' two sons participated in the assaults on the boy.

Myers' mother, Carol Myers, who lives next door to her son's Carol Drive home, testified on Friday that her son has lifelong family ties to the community and is not a flight risk.

She said Myers, a former mechanic, has been unemployed for several years because of a back injury and because he needs to care for his two sons, ages 11 and 15, who have special needs. He has “zero” money, no car and no passport.

“There is nothing on record that would make him more likely to flee,” Cassady said. “There is no trend, this is a single incident at his house.”

Bosco, the prosecutor, focused on the nature of the crime as the best reason to keep Myers behind bars.

“Mr. Myers engaged in the intentional and callous torture of a 7-year-old child,” Bosco said. “It shows a blatant disregard for human life and safety.”

Police say Myers filmed the attacks with a cellphone camera and didn't get the boy medical attention.

A preliminary hearing for Myers is set for July 30.

Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or jweigand@tribweb.com.

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