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Boy Shot in Face Tells Family: "I Look Like a Monster"

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    NEWSLETTERS

    D.J. Maiden, seen here on his first day of school, has been in the hospital since he was shot in the face on Sept. 3 at his apartment complex. (Published Wednesday, Oct 2, 2013)

    Life may never be the same for an 8-year-old who was shot in the face a month ago.

    D.J. Maiden has been in a Dallas hospital since the Sept. 3 shooting. His grandmother, Sharon Locklin, said he may never regain feeling in his jaw.

    "He don't want the kids to look at his face," said his grandmother, Sharon Locklin. "He says, 'I look like a monster, granny.' I'm like, 'No, you don't.'"

    After being at Children's Medical Center of Dallas, Maiden is now being treated at Baylor Medical Center. In a few weeks, he will undergo another surgery.

    Police have not revealed what the motive for the shooting may have been. Maiden was shot at his apartment complex just days after he turned 8.

    Brian Cloninger, 46, is accused of shooting the boy. He is being held on a felony injury to a child charge.

    Locklin, backed by community activists, is calling for attempted murder charges.

    "We don't want him to be on the streets," she said. "No matter what charges is, we want him to stay in."

    The Dallas County District Attorney's Office said in a statement that the serious bodily injury to a child charge is a first-degree felony that has a tougher sentence -- five to 99 years or life in prison -- than an attempted murder charge, which is a second-degree felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison.

    "The prosecutors go for the appropriate punishment to keep a dangerous criminal off the streets," the DA's office said. "We go for stiffer punishment, especially when a kid is involved."

    Cloninger has a bond reduction hearing scheduled for Oct. 10.

    "He told his mom, 'If that man hadn't done this to me, I wouldn't be here in the hospital,'" Locklin said. "He hates the hospital."

    Maiden's mother has been at his bedside since the shooting. His siblings at home have been terrified.

    "He (has) a 4-year-old brother; every time somebody knocks on the door, he runs to the back of the house. He's afraid," she said.

    Dallas police were on hand for a family news conference on Wednesday. Police Chief David Brown met with the family.

    "I just want to reassure them that everything the Dallas Police Department and city of Dallas can do in order to affect and follow up on this case, we will do," Sgt. Keitric Jones said.

    Maiden hopes to be home by Halloween. He's speaking through a trach and doing some schoolwork while at the hospital.

    The family has set up an account at 1st Convenient Bank in hopes of getting donations to help with medical expenses. Contributions can be sent to:

    1st Convenience Bank
    9140 Forest Lane
    Dallas, TX 75243
    214-221-4104
    Account of Sharon Locklin for Donald Maiden Jr.

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