Shock and grief rocked an Andrew County Kansas town when a local teenager set an innocent child on fire, causing the child to sustain potentially life-threatening burns.
Joseph Gardner, 17 (pictured), appeared in court this week to answer for allegedly dousing a young boy in gasoline and then setting him on fire. Gardner’s victim sustained first and second degree burns across his face and arms and inside his nose and throat. The child was rushed to Heartland Regional Medical Center for preliminary treatment, but had to ultimately be transferred to the Kansas University Hospital burn center.
Gardner has been charged with first-degree assault for the burning. Court records allege that the sadistic teen bullied his victim before eventually immolating him. Gardner allegedly threatened to punch the child in the face and murder his family if the child didn’t let Gardner cover him in gasoline.
Andrew County sheriff’s deputy Tommy Hudson filed an affidavit asserting that after Gardner set his victim on fire he stood by and laughed while the child burned.
Circuit Judge Mike Ordnung set Gardner’s bond at $150,000 while he awaits trial.