Daddy JOHNNY MICHAEL BOONE, JR. had visitation with his 4-year-old son, and liked to make their time together real special. Yes, real special things like intentionally burning the child with a cigarette. Now he has supervised visitation. But why does he have any visitation?
Gaston County Man Accused Of Putting Out Cigarette On Child
To contact the reporter, e-mail Ken Lemon.
Posted: 4:39 pm EDT October 23, 2009
Updated: 5:18 pm EDT October 23, 2009
GASTONIA, N.C. -- Johnny Michael Boone Jr. has been accused of and charged with a lot of things, but his brother said the charge that landed him in jail Thursday night is the most devastating for his family.
Boone, 22, is charged with misdemeanor child abuse for allegedly burning his 4-year-old son with a cigarette twice. Police said the abuse happened while Boone had a visitation with the boy at a home near Bessemer City in August.
The child's mother, Brook Herndon, said Boone didn't tell her the boy was injured, but days later the 4-year-old told his grandmother what happened.
“He said that he had gotten two burn marks from his dad on his arm,” Herndon said.
She said the boy still talks about what he said happened.
“He just says his daddy is in trouble for burning. He would like to go see him, but his daddy is in trouble,” she said.
Boone's brother said there is no way Boone could have done something like this. Herndon said Boone claimed it was an accident.
Capt. Joe Ramey of the Gaston County Police Department said months of medical investigative work revealed just the opposite.
“We know from the appearance of the burns and the depth of the burns that there seems to be some intentional acts that left those marks,” he said.
The executive director of the Children's Advocacy Center said child abuse cases are on the rise.
“I know that our economic conditions go hand in hand with the abuse rate of children,” said Laurie McClure.
She said stress at work leads to stress at home. She said Gaston County ranks ninth in the state for child abuse cases.
“Children will have emotional and physical damage for years of their life to recover,” she said.
Herndon said her son appears to be recovering fairly well.
Boone is out of jail on bond but he is not allowed to have unsupervised visitation with his son.
Investigators said they couldn’t file felony child abuse charges because those require that the child was hospitalized or suffered permanent physical injury.