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Bail reduction sought for man in burning child case

July 15, 2013 News Extra

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The lawyer for a Saxonburg man accused along with his teenage son of dousing a 7-year-old boy with nail polish remover and filming the child being set on fire wants a judge to lower his bail.

Edward B. Myers, 35, is in the Butler County Prison on $250,000 bail, on a list of charges, including felony assault, in the alleged torture attack in May.

His attorney, Jerry Cassady of Butler, has asked for a bond reduction hearing, which is set for 10 a.m. Friday before Butler County Judge William Shaffer.

Cassady in court papers called the $250,000 bail “manifestly unreasonable” and “punitive.”

Myers has been jailed since Wednesday when Saxonburg police arrested him in connection with the disturbing attack at his mobile home on Carol Drive.

Police said that in addition to setting the boy on fire, Myers shot the boy with an airsoft gun.

In his motion seeking reduced bail, Cassady noted that his client is not a flight risk because he has deep ties to the community.

He said Myers has lived in Saxonburg for the past 10 years and is a lifelong resident of Butler County.

The defendants’ parents, aunt and two sons live in the county, too.

Police said Myers’ then-girlfriend, Laure Halliwell of Saxonburg, on May 25 dropped her 7-year-old son off at Myers’s home while she went to shop.

Myers’ sons, ages 15 and 11, were also at the home.

According to court documents, the father and two sons at some point started shooting airsoft and pellet guns at the 7-year-old’s forehead.

Myers later followed the boy to the bathroom and poured nail polish remover over him, police said.

The boy said that his shirt was then intentionally lit on fire by either Myers or the 15-year-old.

The victim suffered third-degree burns on his chin, neck, chest and face, covering about 10 percent of his body, documents said. He also had welts on his forehead.

Police said Myers did not seek medical help for the boy. Halliwell later that night returned to Myers’s home and found the badly burned boy.

His mother took him to Butler Memorial Hospital. Later, he was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital’s Burn Unit in Pittsburgh.

Butler Memorial notified police of the boy’s injuries.

Myers is charged with charged with aggravated assault, attempted simple assault, reckless endangerment, and possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia.

A preliminary hearing is set for July 30 before District Judge Lewis Stoughton in Chicora.

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