Judge: Pasco man can’t have contact with 2-year-old he’s accused of burning

Jonathan Lee Howard, Pasco County Jail booking photo

DADE CITY, Fla. (WFLA) — A Dade City man who investigators said poured scalding hot water on a toddler, will remain behind bars on $10,000 bond.

The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office arrested Jonathan Lee Howard, 26, and charged him with child neglect. Judge Lynn Tepper on Monday ordered Howard not to have contact with the girl.

Deputies said Howard had custodial supervision of the 2-year-old, and while in his care, she suffered second-degree burns on her scalp, torso, arm, vagina, buttocks and leg.

According to the sheriff’s office, Howard admitted to pouring hot water on the child, but first told detectives she may have been burned by an exploding lighter.

Deputies said Howard did not get medical attention for the child until the day after the incident. She was airlifted to a local hospital where medical staff said her wounds were consistent with a scalding hot liquid.

Howard was taken into custody on Sunday.  He was booked into the Land O’ Lakes Detention Center. He could face up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine, if convicted.

According to the state prosecutor, Howard has never been arrested before.

He lives with his wife, the victim and “other children” in the Lazy Breeze mobile home park in Dade City. For now, the judge said his wife is allowed to care for the little girl.

Neighbors told News Channel 8 that the mother was working when the incident happened.