UPDATE: Toddler fatally shoots himself in Cherokee County
POSTED: Thursday, May 30, 2013 - 1:38pm
UPDATED: Friday, May 31, 2013 - 12:26pm
Cherokee County, TX (KETK) — The 2-year-old Cherokee County boy who died after accidentally shooting himself in the face on Wednesday night was in the custody of his great-grandparents in the Shadybrook subdivision near Lake Palestine.
Trenton Mathis, 2, and his siblings had been placed with their great-grandparents after being removed from their parents' home in Houston.
According to Harris County records, the childrens' mother, Brittany Hardison, 21, was allegedly involved in a case of physical neglect and abuse. The court records of that incident in Harris County are now sealed, since it involves juveniles.
Authorities with Child Protective Services tell KETK that four children were removed from their mother's care following that sealed-record incident in December. Three, including Trenton, were placed with their great-grandparents in Cherokee County. One of the children, a 23-month-old boy, was placed in a foster home in Houston because he was was in such poor health. CPS determined that the great-grandparents would not be able to care for an infant that needed such intense rehabilitation.
CPS did conduct a home study with the great-grandparents in February to determine if the great-grandparents' home would be a suitable environment for the children. Their final report indicated that they would not recommend housing the children at the residence.
However, a judge ultimately determined that the children could remain in the great-grandparents' care.
CPS authorities say that judges will occassionally go against a CPS recommendation if it means that the children will be able to stay with family. Both attorneys on the case agreed with the judge's decision.
Following Wednesday's accidental shooting, the remaining two children in the home, ages five years and nine months, were removed from the great-grandparents' care and placed in a CPS foster home.
KETK will continue to follow this story as it develops.