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"The attorney for the state and the case worker -- they've already voted me to have full custody," Billy McKnight tells Taste of Country. "The judge is extending it [the current custody agreement] 90 days to see if (Mindy) could get on board and get her case plan wrapped up, so he could get it out of the state's hands and into ours. Instead of complying, she did what she did, which is going to set her back probably a pretty good bit."
What McCready did is take Zander away from his legal home in Florida, resulting in a three-day hunt for the two that stretched from Florida to Tennessee to Arkansas, where they were found hiding in a closet late Friday night (Dec. 2) inside the singer's current boyfriend's home. As McCready does not have custody of her child, a judge had ordered her to return him to Florida last Thursday (Dec. 1) -- a deadline she missed, claiming she was protecting the child from danger at the Inge home (a claim Gayle Inge vehemently denies). McCready also argued that she has medical reasons for not being able to travel back to Florida, as she's reportedly seven months pregnant with twins. (Still, the embattled singer managed to go from Florida to Tennessee to Arkansas over the past week.)
Pending a court case that should wrap in the coming months, Mindy's mother, Gayle Inge, has legal custody of the child. McKnight tells Taste of Country that he is allowed unsupervised visits four nights per week, while his ex is only granted supervised visits with her son. McKnight reveals that it was he who gave McCready permission to take the little boy for a while -- he just didn't realize how long she had in mind.
"She called me up before Thanksgiving and said, 'I'm going back home and I'm going to have these kids [the twins]. I'm not going to be able to be down here. Could I keep the baby this weekend?' And I offered that to her, and when I did that she took him," he explained.
McKnight hasn't spoken to Zander since Friday but is assured that his son is safe with Children & Family Services workers in the transition from Arkansas back to the Inge home in Cape Coral, Fla.
It seems former couple McKnight and McCready are on relatively good terms, working together to help raise Zander and even writing music together. Back in 2009, they recorded and released a duet called 'Sweeter.' That was four years after McKnight was arrested and charged with attempted murder, after he allegedly beat and choked McCready.
Now fronting his own country/rock band, McKnight claims he's worked hard to get sober and turn his life around -- an argument McCready shares. She successfully completed a stint on 'Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew,' seemingly kicking her own substance abuse problems on the reality show.
There is no word yet on whether McCready will face criminal charges for fleeing with her son.