Crime

Man accused in beating, burning of son faces additional abuse charges

JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD Zander Saucier, 3, tries on a Bikers Against Child Abuse vest during a visit from the group at Zander's house in Gulfport on Saturday May 7, 2015.
JOHN FITZHUGH/SUN HERALD Zander Saucier, 3, tries on a Bikers Against Child Abuse vest during a visit from the group at Zander's house in Gulfport on Saturday May 7, 2015. SUN HERALD

A Jackson County grand jury has indicted the father of a young boy who was suffered cigarette burns and other wounds, allegedly at the hands of his dad.

Nathan Blake McCrory has been indicted on four counts of felony child abuse following a grand jury indictment. He had bonded out of jail after the initial charge but is now back in the Jackson County jail pending a court appearance to set bond.

Deputies arrested him at his job in Pascagoula.

He is accused of hitting his 3-year-old son, Zander Saucier, resulting in the boy suffering a collapsed lung. The child’s liver also was lacerated.

During a preliminary hearing in May, a Jackson County detective said Zander had at least 30 wounds, including a brain bleed, when he arrived at Singing River Hospital.

The boy also had an injury to his penis that produced blood and bruising all over his body, including his forehead, officials said.

“The child’s eyes were swollen shut,” Detective Eddie Clark said at the hearing. “He had wounds to the back of his head. He had one solid bruise across his entire forehead, both arms, legs and buttocks ...and scratch marks to his hands.”

McCrory, who was not the child’s custodial parent, claimed Zander was injured when he fell down the stairs at McCrory’s home, officials said.

An Alabama doctor examined the injuries, however, and determined they were consistent with abuse, according to court testimony.

An investigation began after McCrory’s mother brought Zander to the hospital April 10. The doctors suspected abuse and alerted Jackson County deputies.

McCrory did not go to the hospital with his son. When deputies found him, he was riding a four-wheeler with another child.

McCrory has denied any wrongdoing. His family also has said he did not injure the child.

Zander was transferred to the University of South Alabama Childrens’ and Womens’ Hospital in Mobile because of the severity of his injuries.

He spent at least a week on a ventilator. His mother, Emily Saucier, was by his side the entire time.

During Zander’s stay at the Mobile hospital, the attending staff fell in love with him.

Doctors and nurses applauded the first time he was able to walk on his own again.

Zander’s mother and Jimmy Spears, a relative Zander affectionately calls Unc, have said on Facebook they are pleased the grand jury found enough evidence to indict McCrory.

South Mississippians rallied around Zander and his family to offer their support and donations to help with medical expenses.

Some businesses offered to donate the proceeds of certain sales to the family.

Margaret Baker: 228-896-0538, @Margar45

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