Posted: Dec 19, 2012 9:41 PM by Melissa Anderson - MTN News
HELENA - Christopher Gleed has been found guilty of purposely putting his three-year-old son in scalding hot bathwater.
Gleed is charged with felony aggravated assault in the case; the boy received permanent third degree burns over the majority of his body.
Gleed took the stand on his own behalf, and said he would never do anything to hurt his son. "I love my son. I would never harm him in any way or form ever," Gleed testified.
Gleed was watching his three-year old son while the boy's mother was away at college. Gleed said he placed the boy in a bath with about six inches of water and left the bathroom to do some chores, and then he heard screaming.
Prosecutors charge that the boy flailed in the bath, leaving consistent lines where the scalding water touched.
"So we have uniform consistent burning all over his entire head to a particular point on the back of his neck. Is that what you are saying?" asked County Attorney Leo Gallagher.
"I don't know what happened in there," replied Gleed.
A master plumber testified that the hot water temperature was set higher than the average 120 degrees.
The defense claims that the water heater may have been faulty.
"According to the manual, it would be set at 150 degrees." explained Steven McLane of American Plumbing and Heating.
The boy was taken to several hospitals and suffered second- and third-degree permanent burns.
Sentencing has been scheduled for January 31, following a pre-sentence investigation.