Saxonburg man jailed for burning boy, 7
While a young victim daily battles scars, pain and fear, his tormentor, a Saxonburg man, was sentenced Tuesday to serve four to 12 years in state prison.Butler County Judge William R. Shaffer sentenced Edward B. Myers, 37, of Carol Drive for his part in setting a 7-year-old boy's shirt on fire last year.
Myers was scheduled to stand trial last month on 16 serious charges. But a day before his trial was scheduled to start, Myers took a plea bargain and pleaded no contest to one count of felony aggravated assault. Prosecutors agreed to drop 15 other charges — including seven felonies — for the May 2013 incident.
Saxonburg police say Myers was watching his girlfriend's son when Myers poured a flammable liquid on the boy just before one of his own sons set the liquid on fire.
The 7-year-old suffered second- and third-degree burns on his chest, neck and face and was traumatized.
Myers is also accused of shooting the boy with an Airsoft pellet gun and, along with his own son, taunting and tormenting the victim.
Myers' son already was sentenced in juvenile court.
The boy's healing process “potentially will be the rest of his life,” his mother said softly during a strong, impassioned plea at Myers' sentencing hearing. She said her son's face has “scars that will never go away.”
The victim's mother said her son, now 8, needs at least two more “expensive, lengthy and painful” facial surgeries.
She said the boy has nightmares almost every night and he forbids any photos to be taken of him.
Although the boy only wanted to be accepted and loved by Myers and his two sons, he was instead subjected to violence, she said in a statement to the court.
“How do you tell an 8-year-old the reasons behind any of these actions?” the mother asked.
“At times, I am totally consumed with grief and long for the days of his happy-go-lucky sweetness of times past,” the mother said. “Yet we must live in this hideous aftermath that has sentenced us for life.
“Our family will never be the same. There remains anger, frustration and sorrow for how anyone could brutalize a 7-year-old child.”
She asked that the maximum sentence be ordered.
Myers has no prior convictions.
Aggravated assault convictions call for a minimum of four years to a maximum of 12 years in state prison. That's what Judge Shaffer gave him by accepting the plea bargain.
Shaffer also ordered Myers to pay a $5,000 fine and court costs.
The judge gave Myers credit for a little more than a year already spent in jail awaiting trial.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.