Babysitter sentenced after toddler receives third-degree burns

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Eric Monstwill | Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com

IDAHO FALLS — A Shelley man who allowed a one-year-old to sustain third-degree burns will serve 120 days in the Bonneville County Jail.

Eric Monstwillo, 24, was babysitting the one-year-old victim on April 20, 2017, when the child received third-degree submersion burns on his hand from an extremely hot liquid. No definitive explanation has been given on what the liquid was and details around what exactly happened are unclear.

Monstwillo was sentenced by Judge Bruce Pickett in Bonneville County Wednesday and the victim’s mother described receiving a phone call that her son had been burned on the stove and was being taken to the hospital. She described how, when she arrived at the hospital, she could hear him screaming. When she saw her child, he reached his burned hand toward her and she knew he wanted her to make the pain go away.

She recounted that a police investigator later told her that the injuries were not consistent with being burned on a stove. That’s when she was told that Monstwillo had been taken into custody.

Monstwillo was charged with felony injury to a child. After a nearly year-long investigation, he agreed to plead guilty as charged. As part of the agreement, the prosecution and defense recommended probation.

During his statements, Bonneville County Deputy Prosecutor Tanner Crowther explained that Monstwillo did not plead guilty to physically harming the victim himself. He pleaded guilty to allowing the child to be in a situation where he was injured while under Monstwillo’s care.

Monstwillo was given an eight-year suspended sentence with two years fixed and six indeterminate. He was given 120 days in county jail. After 45 days, Minstwillo will be allowed work release until the 120 days are up. He will be on probation.

During his eight years on probation, Pickett ordered that Monstwillo will have no contact with the victim or his immediate family. Monstwillo will also not be allowed around children without another adult present. He must also pay a $100 fine and complete 100 hours of community service.

Pickett acknowledged Monstwillo’s significant cognitive disability that was discovered during a presentence investigation as a key mitigating factor in his sentence.

Monstwillo said he was sorry that the child was hurt under his watch.

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