Family of Mo. Boy Shot by Foster Brother Awarded Settlement

July 10, 2006

The family of a boy who was shot to death by a boy in his foster home will receive a $100,000 settlement from the boy’s former foster parents, but a lawsuit against the state continues.

The insurance carrier for former Jasper County foster parents Mark and Treva Gordon and their son will pay Brandie McLean, her children and attorneys $100,000 in the shooting death of her son, Braxton Wooden.

McLean’s 8-year-old son died after he was shot in the head by the Gordons’ 14-year-old son, Ethan, with a .38-caliber handgun on June 2, 2005. They boys were home alone and playing a game of cops and robbers in the Gordons’ home in Alba at the time.

Ethan Gordon said he did not think the gun was loaded. Jasper County Juvenile Court tried him on a charge of involuntary manslaughter and he was committed to the custody of the Division of Youth Services until he is 17.

Magistrate Gary Fenner approved the partial settlement agreement between Farm Bureau Town & Country Insurance Co. and McLean and her family on June 30 in U.S. District Court in Springfield.

The agreement removes the Gordons as defendants in McLean’s wrongful-death lawsuit, but her claims against the Children’s Division of the Missouri Department of Social Services remain in litigation.

McLean, 29, and her family allege in their lawsuit that, among other things, the guns and ammunition in the Gordons’ home were kept in a manner that violated foster-care regulations.

Braxton Wooden and his four siblings were removed from McLean’s custody after her 2-year-old son was found playing on a roof of their home in Webb City while she was asleep in September 2004. She was charged with felony child endangerment.

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