KODE's catch-up story on the hearing in the case of the Alba teen who shot eight-year-old Braxton Wooden brought up a topic that was bound to come up sooner or later and has been widely hinted at.
At some point, Wooden's mother, Brandie McLean, 28, is going to file a lawsuit against the Division of Family Services for removing her son from her custody and putting him in a situation that eventually ended in his death.
Her new lawyer, Juddson McPherson indicated to KODE that the possibility was being explored. A cynic might think that was why Ms. McLean suddenly changed lawyers and changed the guilty plea she had entered in her child neglect case. Realistically, how many jurors would be inclined to award big bucks to a woman who admitted to neglecting her children, thus leading to their removal from her home and placement in foster care in the first place.
I don't presume to know what happened in the all-too-short time that Braxton Wooden had on this planet.
As I noted in the June 4 Turner Report, Ms. McLean's five children were removed from her custody on Sept. 20, 2004, after her two-year-old son was seen on the roof of her house at 123 E. 3rd Street in Webb City.
A Joplin Globe article indicated police found Ms. McLean and a 16-year-old female friend asleep in the home. Ms. McLean claimed she had been placed on an antipsychotic drug that made her sleepy all of the time.
Though she has withdrawn her guilty pleas to child endangerment and a forgery charge, Ms. McLean already has a criminal record. She pleaded guilty in Jasper County Circuit Court to a charge of unlawful use of drug paraphernalia, was sentenced to a year in the county jail, but the sentence was suspended. She was placed on unsupervised probation for one year, according to court records.
The boy's father was never a viable option. Braxton Wooden Sr., 29, is serving a three-year sentence at the Western Missouri Correctional Center in Cameron after pleading guilty to domestic assault. He was already on probation at the time.
Court records show he pleaded gulty Oct. 18, 2000, in Jasper County Circuit Court to unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and was sentenced to one year in the county jail. The sentence was suspended and he was placed on unsupervised probation for a year.
On Jan. 23, 2002, Wooden was arrested for felony marijuana possession. After he pleaded guilty on April 12, 2002, he was sentenced to three years in prison, but served only four months, from June 21 to Oct. 24, 2002, of shock time before being released.
Jasper County Circuit Court records show that he was extradited to Kansas for another crime, but do not give the nature of the crime.He was charged with domestic assault on April 7, 2004, after he was arrested by the Webb City Police Department. On that same date, Brandie McLean filed for a protection order against him. She was granted a temporary restraining order.When the hearing for a full protection order took place five days later, Ms. McLean failed to show.