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Saxonburg man accused in child's burning waives hearing

| Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, 12:56 a.m.
Photo courtesy of WPXI
Edward Myers pleaded no contest to a charge of setting his girlfriend's son on fire.

For “tactical reasons,” an attorney representing a Saxonburg man accused of participating in a series of assaults on his then-girlfriend's young son waived his client's right to a preliminary hearing on three aggravated assault charges Wednesday in Butler County Court.

Ed Myers, 36, is charged in connection with an alleged incident on May 25 in which he is accused of pouring flammable nail polish remover over a 7-year-old boy and watching as one of his own sons set the liquid aflame. He is accused of shooting the child with an Airsoft rifle, as well, causing multiple bruises.

Police say the incident occurred while Myers was watching the boy along with his own juvenile sons at his Carol Drive home.

Myers' attorney, Gerald Cassady, requested Wednesday's hearing before Judge William Shaffer after the district attorney's office refiled the assault charges two months after a preliminary hearing in district court.

“A number of factors went into the decision to re-file, including obtaining additional evidence and having the opportunity to sit down and review it,” Assistant District Attorney Richard Bosco said.

But Cassady contends that the prosecutor's office exceeded its authority by adding the charges in spite of an agreement reached in municipal court in which Myers waived his right to a preliminary hearing in exchange for an aggravated assault charge being dropped.

He said his client had the right to rebut the district attorney's evidence against him.

But further review of evidence in the case changed Cassady's mind.

“After reviewing the discovery provided thus far, it's our intention, for tactical reasons, to waive the preliminary hearing,” Cassady said. He declined to elaborate.

“We'll see how things play out at trial,” he said. “At this point, it doesn't look like there's going to be a plea agreement.”

Myers is also charged with one count each of simple assault, child endangerment, endangering another person and two drug offenses.

He is being held in the Butler County jail in lieu of $250,000 bond.

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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