Parents of toddler who shot self file lawsuits against grandparents

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - By Layron Livingston - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

SMITH COUNTY, TX (KLTV) - Yet another courtroom battle is brewing surrounding the Smith County toddler who shot himself in the head.

The parents of Jaden McLean, 2, have each filed separate civil lawsuits against the boy's grandparents.

Last month, the toddler was with his grandparents, Charles and Chanda McLean at their Smith County bar when he got his hands on a hand gun and fired.

The lawsuit reveals just how badly little Jaden was hurt.

Jaden's mother, Ashton Wilson, filed her civil suit last week. In it, she claims her son, Jaden, suffered "severe, permanent and lasting injuries." Now, she and Jaden's father, Dustin McLean, are asking for their days in court.

Mom, dad and granddad were all in court, just Tuesday for a CPS custody hearing. A gag order is still in place in that case. But, we spoke to both grandparents the day after Jaden shot himself with their gun at The Sports Club, a bar owned by the McLeans.

"It usually stays in a safe," said Charles McLean. "It was hid in this tray where you couldn't see it...nothing but the handle and he seen it."

"Before I got there, I heard a 'bang'...and there he was standing," said Chanda McLean.

"Somebody is ultimately responsible for what happened to that baby," said Smith County Sheriff, J.B. Smith. "That was obviously a sign of neglect."

In one civil suit, Jaden's mother is seeking damages on behalf of her son. The suit asserts "it was negligent for Charles McLean to leave a handgun where Jaden could find it. The suit also claims Chanda McLean was also negligent letting the child wander around the club alone leaving him time to find the gun. Jaden's mother is suing for past and future medical expenses, pain and suffering.

Dustin McLean is asking for more than $50,000 from his parents and The Sports Club. Jaden's father faults the couple for not properly monitoring his son. His suit also takes into account the toddler's future disfigurement and medical needs.

Phone calls to both Dustin McLean's and Ashton Wilson's attorneys were not returned.

The two-year-old remains in CPS custody pending that custody hearing which is scheduled to continue, Friday afternoon in Smith County.

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