Man Who Burned Son in Oven Deserved More Than Slap on Wrist He Got

Gregory ColverWhen Gregory Colver was cooking a frozen pizza last December in his California kitchen, his toddler son somehow ended up in the oven with it and suffered second- and third-degree burns. At first Colver claimed his 17-month-old son opened the oven and just climbed in by himself, but later the horrifying truth came out -- it was the father who put him in there.

According to a story from KGO-TV San Francisco, Colver, 21, got fed up with the boy interrupting his pizza making by banging his head against the oven door. So to "teach him a lesson," he held him in the hot oven -- feet first. When the boy struggled to get out of his grasp, Colver dropped him, and the boy was badly burned.

All of which is outrageous and heartbreaking enough, but the real horror in this story lies in Gregory's sentencing, which was handed down on Friday.

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For torturing that poor, innocent little boy, for giving him burns and emotional scars from which he will likely never fully recover, he was sentenced to only one year in prison. Even more outrageously, he was given credit for time served, and now only has about two more months left before he's released to go on with his life as normal, when that boy's life has been forever changed. 

Oh sure, he has to go to some parenting classes and will serve five years probation, but not a big burden to him. The real burden is on this little boy, and his suffering should not be brushed away with such a small amount of restitution, such a small slap on the wrist.

Parents make mistakes, and children try our every bit of patience at times, but it's never okay to snap like Colver did. Ever. It shouldn't take sending a strong message in cases like this to make people remember that hurting a child is never okay, but unfortunately sometimes it does. And that message is lost in this case.

What kind of punishment is appropriate for such a crime? I don't know, exactly. Prosecutors had asked for a five-year sentence, and that sounds like a better start to me. But a few measly months -- not even as many as the child has been alive -- and taking some parenting classes and then stepping back into his role as a "father" again is an injustice.

Do you think a one-year sentence is enough for this man who put his son in a hot oven?


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