Judge reduces bond for man accused of shooting 8-year-old boy

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by MARCUS MOORE

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WFAA

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 11 at 5:22 PM

DALLAS –– A judge on Friday reduced the bond for the man accused of shooting an 8-year-old boy as he played in his apartment complex’s parking lot on Sept. 3. 

Brian Cloninger appealed to a Dallas County district judge to drop his $2.2 million bond to $25,000. The judge reduced it to $1 million. 

Prosecutors plan to charge the 46-year-old with injury to a child. If convicted, he could face life in prison. Prosecutors say he shot Donald “D.J.” Maiden as he played outside. The victim is recovering at a Dallas-area rehabilitation facility. A portion of his lower left jaw is missing.

During the bond hearing, detective Paolo Sparacino testified that no one seems to have seen the actual shooting occur. Witnesses did report hearing shots and said they saw Cloninger holding a pistol.  

Det. Sparacino told the courtroom that when asked if he had shot D.J. Cloninger said "yes.” When asked "why,” Det. Sparacino told the court the witness said his response was "because he wanted to."

A spokesperson for the boy’s family said that they are pleased with the judge's decision.  During the bond hearing, Cloninger's family and wife said they likely would not be able to come up with the money to bail him out.

The case still has to go before a grand jury.  

D.J. has been released from the hospital, but has a long road to recovery.  His mother testified that her son wakes up everyday afraid that what happened will happen again.

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