A Missouri teen has been charged with first degree assault after he poured gasoline on a 13-year-old boy and lit him on fire. On April 15, Joseph Gardner, 17, allegedly threatened the victim that if he didn’t go along with the violent act that he would pummel him to death and kill his family. According to News Press Now, Gardner’s behavior was an attempt to bully the young victim.
The child victim suffered first and second degree burns to his face, throat, nose and arm. He also suffered from inhalation burns. He received treatment at a burn unit at the Kansas University Hospital and is believed to be currently recovering at home.
Gardener allegedly laughed while the boy was on fire screaming in pain.
Gardner appeared in court yesterday, without an attorney. He asked that a public defendant be appointed to him. He reportedly kept trying to explain his actions to the judge who was uninterested in his explanations at the time and had to order Gardner to remain silent repeatedly, telling him that anything he said during the arraignment could be used against him.
Gardner will remain in jail until his next court hearing on May 22, unless he makes his $150,000 bail.