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Lawyer wants serious charges dropped against Saxonburg man accused of assaulting boy

| Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, 1:16 a.m.

In a pretrial motion filed this week, an attorney for a Saxonburg man accused of participating in a series of assaults on his then-girlfriend's young son asked that a judge dismiss the four most serious charges against his client.

Attorney Gerald Cassady argues that the Butler County District Attorney's Office exceeded its authority when it reinstated an aggravated assault charge and tacked on two others against Ed Myers, 36, of Carol Drive after Myers waived his right to a preliminary hearing in August.

Myers is accused of pouring nail polish remover over the 7-year-old boy and watching as one of his own sons set the liquid aflame.

The incident caused third-degree burns on the child's chest, neck and face.

Myers is accused of shooting the child with an AirSoft rifle, causing bruises.

Saxonburg police say they obtained cellphone video of the attacks.

The district attorney's office filed the felony assault counts this month.

No one from the office returned calls seeking comment.

“My client has a right to a preliminary hearing as to the additional charges, at which time the commonwealth is required to demonstrate (their burden of proof),” said attorney Gerald Cassady.

He said the district attorney's office has the ability to add charges, but only if the charges are related or are different subsections of the same crime.

Myers agreed to waive his right to a preliminary hearing after prosecutors dropped an aggravated assault charge.

At that time, prosecutors upgraded a reckless endangerment charge to a third-degree felony, which still carries a lesser penalty than the aggravated assault charge.

Cassady is seeking dismissal of the child endangerment charge.

Cassady said he's hopeful the judge will schedule a habeas corpus hearing, which is similar to a preliminary hearing, on the four felony counts.

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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