Man sentenced for abusing grandchildren during Grand Canyon hikes

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On Thursday, Christopher Allen Carlson, 45, was given 27 months behind bars and one year of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone. By Catherine Holland On Thursday, Christopher Allen Carlson, 45, was given 27 months behind bars and one year of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone. By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- An Indiana man has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for putting his grandchildren’s health in danger during two hikes at the Grand Canyon.

On Thursday, Christopher Allen Carlson, 45, was given 27 months behind bars and one year of supervised release by U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Martone.

Martone also ordered that Carlson have no contact with his grandchildren without permission from his probation officer during his supervised release. Carlson must also receive parenting skills counseling.

Carlson took his three grandchildren, ages 8, 9 and 12, on two separate hikes in August of 2011. The temperature during both hikes was over 100 degrees, but Carlson severely limited his grandchildren’s water and food. Carlson also forced his grandchildren to march and run up dangerous terrain.

Carlson told investigators that he thought his grandchildren were overweight and needed exercise. The children testified that Carlson would hit or kick them if he thought they weren’t hiking fast enough.

In February, a federal jury convicted Carlson on three counts of criminally negligent child abuse.