Most-serious charge reduced in burning of boy in Saxonburg
The Butler County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday dropped an aggravated assault charge against a Saxonburg man accused of participating in a series of assaults on his girlfriend's 7-year-old son.
Prosecutors also upgraded a reckless endangerment charge to a third-degree felony. However, it carries a lesser penalty than an aggravated assault conviction would have.
As a result, Ed Myers, 36, of Carol Drive agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing, and his case will proceed to Butler County Court.
Myers is accused of pouring flammable nail polish remover over the boy and watching as a juvenile in the house set the liquid aflame, causing third-degree burns on the child's chest, neck and face.
Myers, along with his juvenile sons, are also accused of shooting his girlfriend's child with an AirSoft pellet rifle, causing multiple bruises.
Police say Myers failed to get the boy medical attention.
Assistant District Attorney Russ Karl said altering the charges was the best course of action.
“Base on the evidence I gathered today through interviews with the family, the victim and witnesses, it was better at this time,” he said.
Myers' attorney, Gerald Cassady, said they're pleased with the changes.
“It's still a far lesser-grade charge,” Cassady said. “It also shifts the focus of the case, factually, from causation to whether 911 or an ambulance service should have been called or when they should have been called.”
The alleged incidents occurred when Laure Halliwell left her son, Daniel, in Myers' care for about seven hours on May 25. When she returned to Myers' house, she found her son injured and took him to Butler Memorial Hospital. The boy spent several weeks at UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh.
Sheila Paul, a friend of the Halliwell family, gave a brief prepared statement following the hearing.
“They would like to thank all the family, friends and complete strangers for their support and prayers for Daniel and the families involved in this horrific event,” she said. “At this time, the Halliwell family is focused on Daniel's recovery and ask for privacy so they can concentrate on Daniel's care and they can recover from this horrifying event.”
She said the family has set up a fund to collect donations to help pay for medical and other expenses related to the boy's recovery.
Paul said that on the advice of the district attorney's office she could not comment on Daniel's current condition.
Myers continues to be held in the Butler County jail on $250,000 bond.
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Winfield man is one of a few to attend all 49 Super Bowl games
- Lower Burrell 5th-grader illustrates power of kindness with cancer charity
- Second teen charged in Jan. 1 Tarentum shooting
- Woman killed in Washington Township crash
- Arnold woman severely injured in Allegheny Township wreck
- South Butler County School District offers free Pre-K program
- ATI steam explosion in Harrison rocked homes in four counties
- Harrison officials discuss grant applications for sidewalks, sewers
- Weather postpones Route 56 closure in New Kensington
- Fire-ravaged business vows to rebuild in South Buffalo
- Arnold likely to re-advertise, revote tax hike