Man who shot boy in face pleads no contest

The man who shot an 8-year-old boy in the face nearly two years ago has pleaded no contest to his charges, and now a judge will decide his fate.

Brian Cloninger is charged with injury to a child for the shooting of Daniel D.J. Maiden, Jr.

In court on Thursday, a firearms expert testified that Cloninger's weapon was what's known as a combo 45-410 revolver with a two-inch barrel.

An FBI phone examiner testified that seven calls were made from Cloninger's smartphone to a local number in the minutes following the shooting.

Police say Cloninger smelled of alcohol at the time of his arrest. He was serving a 15-month probation for DWI and was not supposed to be drinking.

Maiden, who is now 9, lost the entire bottom part of his left jaw and all bottom and top teeth except for one. Doctors say the shooting will leave him permanently disfigured.

Pediatric craniofacial surgeon Christopher Derderian talked about how Maiden's face was reconstructed.

"We borrowed the fibula, which is the part of the lower leg, which doesn't bear as much weight," said Dr. Derderian. "…You can borrow that segment of the bone and make multiple cuts in it to help give the form of a mandible."

The doctor says that bone can support dental implants and custom dentures he will need in the future.

"In his case, we also borrowed a fairly large skin paddle from the leg as well to help resurface the floor of the mouth and then in the future, we will go back and thin it to have that serve potentially as the gums," said Derderian.

Cloninger could get as much as life in prison.

Testimony resumes Friday morning.

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