Virginia man sentenced in hot water scalding of 4-year-old

Virginia News

ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — A Virginia man convicted of scalding his girlfriend’s 4-year-old son with hot water has been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Justin Tyler Blackwell, 33, was ordered by a Roanoke City Circuit Court Judge on Monday to spend 15 more months in prison, in addition to the nearly three months he has already served since his conviction for child cruelty in December, The Roanoke Times reported.

In August 2018, the 4-year-old victim told investigators at a hospital that he was doing dishes when he was burned by hot water, according to court testimony. When a family service specialist asked the boy why he didn’t remove his arm, he responded that Blackwell had held it underwater.

The child suffered second-degree burns on his hand and wrist, and a pediatric emergency doctor testified in court that the burns were “consistent with prolonged contact with hot water,” the newspaper said.

Blackwell contended the burning was an accident, and argued that he wasn’t interviewed by investigators before being charged, according to The Roanoke Times.

The jury previously acquitted him of malicious wounding and child abuse charges.

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