Hickory man found guilty in death of 20-month-old

HICKORY, NC (WBTV) - A Catawba County jury found a Hickory man guilty of second-degree murder in the death of a 20-month-old boy in May 2013.

The jury found William Howard Lail III guilty Tuesday for the death of his former girlfriend's son, Jaydon Sandlin, officials say.

Howard was also found guilty of two counts of felony child abuse against Sandlin and his sister Kylie Sandlin, and two counts of non-felonious child abuse.

Officials say Lail was sentenced between 17 and 22 years of active prison with an additional 300 days to be served for the non-felonious child abuse cases.

Reports say Lail was a caretaker for the victim and his sister. His testimony throughout the trial alleged that he left the children unattended in a bath tub where they suffered burns from scalding water.

Sandlin had 130 injuries to his body including the severe bruising on the top of his head and bottom of his feet, reports stated.

Arrest warrants for Lail in 2013 stated that officers said there was probable cause to believe Lail "unlawfully, willfully and feloniously did intentionally inflict serious physical injury, scalding burns to the buttocks and back of both legs," of the 1-year-old child.

In 2013, reports stated a search warrant posted on the door said Lail attempted CPR but was unsuccessful. Witnesses reported seeing excessive water and white fluid coming from the nose and mouth of little Jaydon.

Whitney Weathers, the mother of the children, was arrested in May 2013 and accused of child abuse.

Officials say Weathers pleaded guilty to one count of child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury and four counts of child abuse inflicting serious physical injury in May 2017.

She was sentenced to three to eight years in prison.

Weather's mother, Gayle Ervin, accused Lail of controlling her daughter and not letting her get the children help, according to reports.

Weathers was not charged in connection with the murder of her son.


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