Man Accused of Burning Texas Toddler in Dryer Indicted on Lesser Charge

An east Texas man accused of burning his girlfriend's 2-year-old daughter by putting her inside a clothes dryer was indicted Tuesday on a lesser charge than he initially faced.

Bobby Lynn Curtis was originally charged with first-degree injury to a child, punishable by up to life in prison. On Tuesday, a Hardin County grand jury indicted the 29-year-old Lumberton man on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon — the hot dryer. The second-degree felony carries a prison sentence of two to 20 years.

The toddler was treated for first- and second-degree burns after the 2007 incident.

Prosecutor David Sheffield, who took office in January, told Beaumont television station KFDM that he reviewed the case and determined it would have been impossible to prove the original charge because jurors might not believe the burns were severe enough to warrant it.

Curtis, who remains jailed on $500,000 bond, previously said the girl was acting up as he gave her a bath when her mother wasn't home.

Defense attorney Glen Crocker of Beaumont did not immediately respond late Tuesday to a call or an e-mail request from The Associated Press seeking comment.