UPDATED | June 19, 2015 6:00 PM

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DALLAS (CBSDFW) – It’s 45 years behind bars for a Dallas man who shot a boy in the face a year and a half ago.

48-year old Brian Cloninger was convicted for shooting a then-8-year old boy in the face outside his Northeast Dallas apartment complex in September 2013.  Although motive in the case was not clear, a witness said that Cloninger shot the child “just because.”

8-year-old Donald Maiden Junior, also known as DJ, has since recovered after being shot in the jaw by Cloninger as he played outside his Lake Highland’s apartment complex.

His family said after the sentencing they can’t forgive the shooter.  They say that’s up to Maiden to do.  But they can tell the child he doesn’t have to be afraid anymore.

“He don’t have to worry and look over his shoulder, that the man will be away for a while, so he’ll have a chance to go into his adulthood and become the best man he could be,” says Sharon Locklin, the child’s grandmother.

The family says they feel justice has been served with the 45-year sentence.

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