BURNET COUNTY, Texas (KXAN ) — A father whose son accidentally shot himself after finding a gun in their Horseshoe Bay home in 2013 accepted a plea deal Monday morning. Toby Patterson, 50, was originally charged with injury to a child and tampering with evidence but he ended up entering a guilty plea to a lesser charge of reckless injury to a child and tampering with evidence.
On Sept. 19, 2013, Horseshoe Bay police received a 9-1-1 call for an accidental shooting of a child. When they arrived, the parents said their 3-year-old boy grabbed a gun and it discharged, striking him in the chest. The toddler was taken to Dell Children’s Medical Center where doctors had to perform emergency surgery to remove part of his lung.
Police said, while it appeared the shooting was accidental, the information they received from the parents didn’t make sense.
“We found that the gun had obviously discharged while laying on the table and there was a weapon inside the house,” said Asst. Chief Rocky Waldrow of the Horseshoe Bay Police back in 2013. “But the weapon inside the house didn’t appear to be the weapon that was used.”
Investigators were able to determine the weapon used in the shooting was inside the neighbor’s home, along with several other guns which had been relocated there after the shooting. Police say the parents hid the weapon in their neighbor’s home after the shooting.
Earlier this year, the child’s mom, Dee Ann Davenport Patterson, 40, pleaded guilty to tampering with evidence and unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison, which she is currently serving.
Toby Patterson’s sentencing is set for Nov. 20.