The Morning Sun
Two charged with burning child with blowtorch
Thursday, April 23, 2009
By SUSAN FIELD
Clare Managing Editor
Two Clare County men accused of punishing a 6-year-old boy by burning him with a blowtorch are scheduled to be in court May 5.
Gerald Hall, 36, and his brother, Glen Hall, 43, face a preliminary hearing in Judge Joshua Farrell's 80th District courtroom in Harrison to determine if there is sufficient evidence for the two to stand trial on first-degree child abuse charges.
Both men were charged on Wednesday.
The two are accused of burning Gerald Hall's son's buttocks on at least one occasion, police said.
Although first-degree child abuse is a 15-year felony, Glen Hall could face more time in prison if convicted.
Clare County Prosecutor Michelle Ambrozaitis put the elder Hall on habitual offender notice, meaning he could be sentenced to one and a half times the maximum if convicted.
Glen Hall is on parole after serving time in prison for a drunken driving causing serious injury conviction in 2003 in Isabella County, according to Michigan Department of Corrections records.
He also was convicted of possession of a firearm by a felon in Clare County in 2008, according to MDOC records.
Both men remain in the Clare County Jail on $150,000 cash bonds, according to court records.
Troopers from the state police post in Mt. Pleasant launched an investigation into the two in October, following a referral from the state Department of Human Services, Sgt. Del Putnam said.
Warrants were issued for the mens' arrests based on one specific incident but police believe that the blowtorch was the "main act of discipline used" on the boy, who has recovered physically and is currently in protective custody, Putnam said.
It took some time to get much of the medical information for the investigation, Putnam said.
Putnam said the case is "one of the worst" he's seen.
Gerald Hall was arrested Tuesday, and his brother was arrested Wednesday afternoon at his place of work after a warrant was authorized, Putnam said.