Former prison guard convicted of burning child

By Craig Kapitan, San Antonio Express News

Updated 11:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A former prison guard accused of severely burning a young boy he was babysitting by pinning him in scalding bathwater was convicted Wednesday of injury to a child.

Henry Benson III, 31, now faces up to 20 years in prison for “recklessly” causing serious bodily injury to 3-year-old Emilio Taylor in October 2009 by failing to check the water temperature.

The defendant, who formerly worked at the Connally Unit in Kenedy, could have faced up to life in prison if convicted of “intentionally” causing the injuries. But after more than 16 hours of deliberations over three days, jurors rejected that charge.

After the verdict, prosecutors attempted to demonstrate outside the presence of the jury other incidents they said showed Benson has a short temper. But Roxanne Benson, the defendant's ex-wife, would not repeat a list of prior complaints, denying that he attacked her, chased her with a gun and slammed their hearing-impaired son's head to the ground.

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