Accused of chaining his girlfriend's 4-year-old son by the neck and menacing her 6-year-old boy by holding a knife to his neck, a 31-year-old Midland man has been arrested on a state jail felony child endangerment charge.

Having learned of the Midland County arrest warrant, Thomas Mitchell Lynskey turned himself in at the Ector County Sheriff's Office Wednesday and was released that day on a $10,000 bond, Midland County Sheriff's Office Investigator Rick Rowland said Thursday.

Conviction of a state jail felony can result in a sentence of 180 days to two years and up to a $10,000 fine; however, a Midland prosecutor Thursday said more serious charges might be filed.

Also accused of burning the 4-year-old's right thigh with a cigarette lighter, the 6-foot-tall, 275-pound defendant could face indictments for injury to a child or aggravated assault. "If there was actual injury to a child, that would be a third-degree felony," said Midland County First Assistant District Attorney Teresa Clingman.

"If there was a child threatened with a knife, that could be second-degree felony aggravated assault." A third-degree felony is punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a second-degree offense by two to 20 years.

Rowland said Lynskey is accused of endangering the children in November and his girlfriend reported the alleged incidents to the Sheriff's Office here six weeks ago. "He chained the 4-year-old in a garage with a chain around his neck and held a knife to the 6-year-old's throat," the investigator said.

"The burn was put on the younger boy's leg a week before that. Lynskey claimed it was accidental."

Rowland said a child endangerment charge alleges the defendant "placed the child in imminent danger of death or serious injury." Lynskey's arrest warrant was issued Tuesday by Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace David Cobos.