Man faces charges in burning of girlfriend's son
(CNN) — A Pennsylvania man is facing charges after he, possibly with the help of his own sons, allegedly doused his girlfriend's 7-year-old son in nail polish remover and filmed the child being set on fire.
Edward Myers, 35, of Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, was home with his two sons and then-girlfriend Laure Halliwell's 7-year-old son beginning around 2 p.m. on May 25, according to court documents. Halliwell told police that when she returned, her son was sitting on the couch with burns on his neck and face. She brought him to the hospital and doctors called police to the scene.
The boy told authorities that at some point in the afternoon, Myers and his two sons had started shooting him with pellet guns and that Myers threw a substance from the stove that "felt like sand" at his face. All the while, the child told authorities Myers was filming him with a cell phone camera. Myers then allegedly followed the boy to the bathroom and poured nail polish remover over him.
The boy said that his shirt was then purposefully lit on fire by either Myers or one of his sons, ages 11 and 15, according to the complaint.
There is no evidence that an ambulance was called to the house to help the boy, who had third-degree burns on his chin, neck, chest and face, covering approximately 10% of his body, according to documents. He also had a hematoma on his forehead, which was consistent with his claims of being hit with pellets.
According to the criminal complaint, Myers initially claimed he had been cleaning hair dye from the sink and had spilled nail polish remover on the boy. He told Halliwell that her son had then walked into Myers' son's room, where a lit cigarette fell onto his shirt, causing it to ignite.
Police searched the Myers residence on May 26 and seized several cell phones, a pellet gun, a paintball gun, and an Air Soft pistol. Police said during the search Myers and his two sons repeatedly referred to the 7-year-old as "the princess."
Myers, who was arraigned Wednesday, was charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person and simple assault, as well as possession of a controlled substance and paraphernalia after police allegedly seized a container of marijuana and a smoking pipe with suspected marijuana residue during their search. He is currently being held on $250,000 bail.
Reached for comment, Myers' attorney Gerald Lee Cassidy said he was "not comfortable" talking about the case.
"I don't see how it's going to help my client," Cassidy said. "I want the best possible result for my client."