PHOENIX—The oldest grandson of a man standing trial on child abuse charges testified Thursday that he secretly asked another hiker to call 911 during a long, hot hike in the Grand Canyon last year. ...Felony child abuse?! There was no injury other than some foot blisters. I got foot blisters also when I hiked the Grand Canyon. But admittedly, I would have been unhappy if I had to eat tofu and hummus at the end of the hike.
Defense attorney Jeffrey Williams has portrayed Carlson as an active health nut who had a firm hand and wanted to show the boys the world. Like anyone after a long hike, the boys were tired, hungry and thirsty, but Carlson only allowed the boys to eat healthy food like tofu, hummus and veggie burgers, Williams said Wednesday in his opening statement. ... Another time, the boy said Carlson made him eat broccoli that he had tried to flush down the toilet.
The youngest of the three brothers testified Wednesday that his grandfather took the boys on many "awesome" adventurous trips. In between the two hikes, Carlson took the boys on a tour of the Hoover Dam, to rides atop the Stratosphere hotel and a Criss Angel magic show in Las Vegas, and to Disneyland in California. ...
Carlson is charged with six counts of felony child abuse and faces life in prison if convicted. He has pleaded not guilty.
This is crazy. Carlson is not a criminal. He was obviously doing what he thought was best for the boys. It was a character-building exercise. A boy needs to be pushed to his limits occasionally. If the accusations are correct, then maybe he overdid it. But life in prison because a fun vacation included a gruelling Grand Canyon hike? It is a good thing that we have a jury system for criminal cases.