Severe Burns Lead to First Degree Felony Arrest for Child Abuse

By Will Johnson

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – Severe hot-iron burns on the back of a 3-year-old child’s legs led to the arrest of a Crockett man on Thursday, Jan.12.

Steven Deshon Sandles, 35, of Crockett, was arrested and charged by officers with the Crockett Police Department with a first degree felony for injury to a child.

Sandles was arrested after the CPD was contacted in regard to a Child Protective Services intake report on the 3-year-old girl.

An affidavit of probable cause filed by CPD Detective Leea Price stated the child was taken to the doctor for severe burns to the backs of her legs on Jan. 11.

According to the affidavit, “The mother, Shonte Tryon, said the child was with her dad, Steven Sandles, when she ran around the edge of the bed, where a hot iron was sitting on the floor, and she tripped over it. This caused her to fall on the iron, causing the burns on her legs.”

The affidavit indicated the doctor who treated the child “… did not believe the story was consistent with the injuries.”

The detective and a CPS worker spoke with both the parents and the child. Tryon informed Price she was in the restroom when the incident took place while Sandles repeated the information previously provided to the attending physician.

Price examined the injuries and – as stated in the affidavit – “… they did not appear to match up to the story. There are horizontal burns on the backs of both of the child’s thighs, but then there are vertical burns on the backs of both of her calves.”

Other areas of injury were also noted in the legal document.

“These burns seem to have happened at different times and at different angles. The iron would not have left multiple burns in random places on her legs if she had only tripped over the iron,” the affidavit reported.

The accident was alleged to have taken place on Saturday, Jan.11 but the probable cause affidavit indicated the child was not taken for medical treatment until Tuesday, Jan. 10.

“The doctor advised that the burns were second degree burns and they were blistering,” according to the affidavit.

Sandles was arrested and booked into custody at the Houston County Jail on one count of injury to a child.

The offense is considered a first degree felony and as stated under Section 12.32 of the Texas Penal Code, “An individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree shall be punished by imprisonment in the institutional division for life or for any term of not more than 99 years or less than five years. In addition to imprisonment, an individual adjudged guilty of a felony of the first degree may be punished by a fine not to exceed $10,000.”

Sandles bond has been set in the amount of $30,000. It was posted and he was released pending trial

Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at [email protected].

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