A Texas man who shot a young boy in the face was sentenced to prison on Friday.
Brian Cloninger of Dallas will serve 45 years behind bars for the 2013 shooting of Donald Maiden, 8, at the young boy’s apartment complex.
Cloninger claims he was high on pills and drunk when the incident occurred, and has not recollection of shooting the boy.
NBC 4 reports that while the boy has undergone intensive surgery his face still may never return back to the way it was, and his grandmother Sharon Locklin testified at Cloninger’s sentencing hearing that he lives in fear of seeing the shooter.
Locklin also revealed that the young boy constantly asks here; ‘Well, grandma, am I always going to look like this?’
Cloninger, who pleaded guilty to the charge, claims to remember going to the complex to meet with a transsexual prostitute on September 3, but nothing after that.
He said he was distraught as he had just lost his job.
After leaving the prostitute’s apartment, he claims to have no recollection.
‘I do not ever recall seeing Donald, a child. I don’t remember picking up the gun. I don’t remember firing the gun. I don’t remember setting the gun back down. I wish I could sit here and tell you I did,’ he testified on Tuesday.
‘It would clear a lot of things up. I don’t ever remember being out of the vehicle.’
Witnesses reported seeing Cloninger standing beside his pickup truck while the boy was bleeding and when someone asked whether he shot the boy, he allegedly responded, ‘Yes, I shot that kid.’
Bleeding profusely, Maiden ran to his mother in their apartment.
‘When he ran in I just screamed,’ his mother, Latamarin Locklin, told KTVT.
‘His mouth was just hanging off and it was just a big hole.
‘I just threw him on the couch and laid him in my arms and put pressure on his mouth with the towel.’
Maiden’s four-year-old brother was at home during the shooting and now he’s in a constant state of terror.
‘Every time somebody knocks on the door, he runs to the back of the house. He’s afraid,’ Locklin said.
Cloninger had asked the judge during the hearing if he could return to his job as a plumber to earn money to pay back the family before apologizing to them for his actions.
‘I just hope that someday the family of Donald can forgive me and I just beg for mercy and the opportunity to get help and possibly become a productive member of society,’ he said.
The family meanwhile is happy with the result, feeling that Donald got justice and that with Cloninger put away Donald will be able ‘to grow into his adulthood and become the best man he can be.’