Man who dropped son on hot oven guilty of child abuse

Mugshot for 20-year-old Gregory Colver.
July 18, 2011 4:20:35 PM PDT
A Daly City man accused of dropping his 17-month-old son onto a hot oven rack was found guilty of child abuse charges Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court.

A jury of nine men and three women today convicted Gregory Colver, 20, of one felony count of child endangerment and one felony count of cruelty to a child, with the special enhancement of causing great bodily injury, San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.

Colver was accused of holding his son inside a hot oven and dangling him over the oven rack in the family's Daly City kitchen on Dec. 28, 2010, in an attempt to teach him about the dangers of hot surfaces.

Prosecutors alleged that Colver had lost his temper after the boy was banging on the oven door while it was heating up to 450 degrees to cook a frozen pizza.

While Colver was holding his son inside the oven, the boy began to struggle and Colver dropped him onto the hot rack, causing second- and third-degree burns to the boy's lower legs, according to prosecutors.

Colver's girlfriend -- the boy's mother, who was not in the apartment when the incident occurred -- told emergency room doctors that her son had crawled into the oven on his own.

That story that was corroborated by Colver, who told police he was asleep on the couch when his son climbed on top of the oven, turned it on, and fell onto the heated racks.

Investigators from Daly City police and Child Protective Services became suspicious when details of the couple's story didn't match up and doctors said the horizontal and vertical burns weren't consistent with the accident Colver had described.

Colver was arrested on Dec. 30, and confessed to police that he had been trying to teach his son a lesson by holding him inside the oven. He later retracted the confession.

The trial lasted three weeks, and the jury deliberated for two days before handing down guilty verdicts on both counts Monday.

Colver faces up to 12 years in state prison. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 16.


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