Man who scalded boy gets 20 years

ALBANY, Ga. — A Dougherty Superior Court jury found Justice McClendon guilty on three counts of child cruelty Friday for scalding a 2-year-old boy with hot water, a court official said.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Goss sentenced McClendon to serve at least 20 years in the penitentiary, said Dougherty County District Attorney Greg Edwards.

The boy’s mother, Christy Davis, is also charged with cruelty to a child, Her trial is set for next month.

“She effectively testified against McClendon of her own volition,” Edwards said. “She made no deal with us and will be tried next month.”

In 2009, the toddler’s foot was put into a bathtub filled with scalding hot water as a disciplinary action by McClendon, Edwards said. The burns were severe enough to require the child be taken to the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta for treatment. The burns were discovered by state Division of Family and Children Services after a complaint from the boy’s relatives in Early County.

At the time the couple were arrested, the boy was remanded into the custody of family protection workers. Edwards said the boy is in foster care.