VIDEO: ‘I’m not a scumbag,’ man claims after sheriff says he put toddler in oven

DELAND, Florida (CBS Newspath) — It took $5,000 for Terry May to bond out of the Volusia County Jail — and when a TV reporter went by his house Friday — he had plenty to say being accused of putting a toddler girl in an oven.

“I just want to let (Sheriff Mike) Chitwood know that I’m not a scumbag. My name is Terry Lee May and I’m a good guy. I’m innocent until proven guilty and right now, I’m totally innocent,” May, 45, told CBS affiliate WKMG-TV.

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Fresh out of jail,  Terry May, a father of five, swears he never beat his ex-girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter with a belt or put her in the oven.

“If you got common sense and you got kids, my oven preheats at 350 (degrees), if you put a kid in the oven, you think she’ll have a little burn mark?” May asked the TV crew.

Deputies say the 23-year-old mother called the Department of Children and Families when she noticed marks on her child — after leaving the little girl in May’s care for a couple of weeks.

“If that was my daughter and my daughter went to somebody’s house and I see bruises on her, you think I’d let my daughter go back to the house again?” May said in the TV interview.

May claimed that the 3-year-old was told to blame him for the abuse.

“The totality of the circumstances, we believe there’s probable cause exists that he did it,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said.

Chitwood says he’s frustrated over may’s bond amount but reminds people the purpose of a bond is to make sure someone appears in court.

“You’d think you’d be so aggrieved by this, that you’d turn around and say this is so horrible, let’s hold him in custody and let’s get the answers we need to get,” Chitwood pointed out.

“I love kids with all my heart. I’d never do nothing to any kids,” May said.

But, the sheriff says a court case will ultimately decide.

“Until a judge or jury finds him not guilty, he’s a scumbag. Take it to the bank. He’s a career criminal,” Chitwood said. “The main concern is this little girl gets the treatment that she needs to overcome her physical and mental injuries and she goes on to have a great life and she’s taken care of.”

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