Commonwealth Journal

September 5, 2013

One suspect in child burning case pleads guilty

Anderson charged with endangering 20-month-old

by Heather Tomlinson
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —

One of four people arrested after a young child was burned by drain cleaner while at a southern Pulaski County home with alleged meth-making ingredients inside pleaded guilty to an amended charge in the case. 
Curtis W. Anderson, 23, appeared in Pulaski District Court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing. Anderson pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree wanton endangerment, a misdemeanor, in connection with the alleged Aug. 21 incident. 
Anderson was ori-ginally charged with second-degree cont-rolled substance end-angerment to a child, a Class B felony, alongside Brittany N. Helton, 24, Brian K. Herrin, 36, and Krystal E. Hampton, 26. Herrin was also charged with manufacturing methamphetamine. 
A 20-month-old boy was transported just after midnight on Aug. 21 by his father, Anderson, to Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital for burns to the mouth, face, and chest, according to the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. The child, who had reportedly tried to drink “Liquid Fire” drain cleaner, was treated in the emergency room and then flown to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington.
Initial fears were that the child had ingested the acid, potentially leading to death, according to investi-gators, but during treatment, doctors discovered that the acid had barely entered the mouth, burning the child’s lips, then spilled onto his chest and splashed onto his legs.
Investigators stated that the child’s mother, Helton, allegedly took the boy on Aug. 20 to Herrin’s residence. All four people live on South U.S. 27, Loop 4, in Burnside.
During the visit the child reportedly picked a cup off of a table that contained the drain cleaner. The child tried to drink from the cup, which led to the acid burning his mouth and lips. The child then dropped the cup, spilling the drain cleaner on his chest and down onto his legs, according to the sheriff’s department.
Immediately following the incident, Herrin and Hampton allegedly fled the scene. A search warrant executed at the Herrin residence turned up several items used to manufacture methamphetamine, including muriatic acid, batteries, tubing, salt, and acetone, according to the sheriff’s depart-ment.
By Thursday of last week, all four defendants had been arrested. 
In Anderson’s case, prosecutors are expected to recommend a 12-month sentence, to be probated for 24 months, which means Anderson will stay on probation for 24 months. If Anderson is found to violate any terms of that probation, he will serve the full 12-month prison sentence. 
Although all four defendants were slated to appear Wednesday for preliminary hearings in Pulaski District Court, Herrin, Hampton and Helton saw their cases held over for review on Thursday, Sept. 19.