Eight-year-old Daniel Podskalny still wears the scars — both on his face and in his heart — left by a vicious attack by a man he trusted.
“All my son wanted was to be accepted and loved by this man and his two sons,” Laure Halliwell said today of her one-time live-in boyfriend, 37-year-old Edward Myers of Saxonburg. “Instead (Daniel) was beaten, shot and set on fire.”
In what Butler County Judge William Shaffer deemed one of “the most heinous crimes” he’s presided over in 14 years as a judge, Myers pleaded no contest to felony aggravated assault.
In keeping with a plea arrangement between Myers and prosecutors, the judge today sentenced Myers to 4 to 12 years in state prison, three years on probation and pay a $5,000 fine.
Myers’ no contest plea implies that he is not acknowledging guilty, but rather he choosing not to fight the charges at a trial.
Still, in the courtroom, Myers took responsibility for what happened.
“I was the responsible adult in the house that day,” he said.
Myers, an unemployed former mechanic, was supervising Daniel and his own two sons, then ages 15 and 11, in his Carol Drive mobile home while Halliwell was shopping on May 25, 2013, according to court documents.
At some point, the group shot airsoft and pellet guns into Daniel’s forehead, according to court records.
Daniel told investigators that Myers threw something from the stove that hit him and started burning his eyes.
When the boy went to the bathroom to rinse his eyes, Myers allegedly followed and poured nail polish remover onto him.
The boy told officials that his shirt was intentionally lit on fire by either Myers or the 15-year-old.