Custody of boy injured in murder-suicide awarded

Judge rules biological father has legal right to child over grandmother

Published On: Mar 28 2012 06:35:08 PM CDT   Updated On: Mar 28 2012 06:45:19 PM CDT

A district court judge has awarded custody of an 11-month old boy injured in a murder-suicide this month to his biological father, who lives in Oklahoma.

The three-day custody hearing was contentious at times, and the judge admitted it was a difficult decision.

The boy, Kaden Fierro, was shot in the head earlier this month by his mother’s boyfriend, who also shot and killed 20-year-old Katie Fierro before taking his own life.

He was only recently released from the hospital and has regained the use of his arms and legs, but still requires extensive therapy.

In court, a child psychologist and a child advocate both suggested it was in Kaden’s best interest to remain in his grandmother’s care, and that disrupting his ongoing rehabilitation could be harmful, and prevent a full recovery.

The judge, however, found no evidence that 20-year-old Ryan Atwood, Kaden’s biological father, would not be a fit parent, and ruled that he had the legal right to have custody of his son.

As part of her ruling, the judge ordered Atwood to take parenting classes and remain in Bexar County until doctors clear Kaden to be transferred to a rehabilitation center in Oklahoma.