DELAND -- A man who claimed to be the uncle of a Deltona toddler who shot himself with a handgun faces a slew of charges after deputies discovered that he was actually the child's father, a sheriff spokesman said this afternoon.
Robert Cardona, who told deputies investigating the shooting that he was 3-year-old Brandon Cardona's uncle, admitted in a court hearing on Wednesday that he was the child's father, said Volusia County Sheriff's Office spokesman Brandon Haught. Cardona, 24, told a judge at a Department of Children and Families hearing he lied to deputies about his identity, Haught said.
The father faces charges of child neglect, leaving firearms within access of a minor, forgery, giving false official statements, giving a false report to law enforcement officers and resisting arrest without violence, Haught said.
The forgery charge stems from Cardona signing his brother's name on a witness statement given to investigators, Haught said.
Cardona was arrested Wednesday in the courthouse on a Flagler County on warrant for probation violation for driving with a suspended license, which is unrelated to the shooting, Haught said.
Decarr said she kept the gun unloaded in a holster in a dresser, but the child told sheriff’s investigators he took the gun off a table in his mother’s room.