DETROIT (WWJ) – The owner of a group of pit bulls that dragged a 4-year-old Detroit boy from his mother and killed him will have to wait until the New Year to find out if he will stand trial in the case.

A preliminary‎ examination for 41-year-old Geneke Lyons, charged with second-degree murder, began this week in the city’s 36th District Court. But apparently there wasn’t enough time for Judge Lydia Nance Adams to make a decision, and she postponed the case until January 7.

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Xavier Strickland was walking with his mother in Detroit when they were attacked by pit bulls Dec. 2 on Baylis Street, near the Lodge Freeway. Police had to shoot the dogs to free the boy’s body. Three were killed; a fourth was euthanized.

Defense attorney Francisco Villarruel says the dogs were dangerous, not the owner.

Prosecutor Kym Worthy has called it a “harrowing example of irresponsible pet ownership.”

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“The evidence in this case will show that these dogs saw this child as meal, and we believe that we can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the alleged actions of the defendant in this case ‎rise to the level of murder in the second degree,” Worthy said.

Separately, a civil lawsuit has been filed by Xavier’s parents against Lyons. Xavier’s father, Clarence Strickland, said he wants to see justice.

“The pain I feel, I want him to feel the same way. But he wouldn’t ever because it wasn’t his child, so he ain’t going to feel the way I feel in my heart,” he said. “His 4-year-old boy didn’t get chewed up by dogs, so he ain’t going to feel my pain.”

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Lucille Strickland, who said she relives the horror of the attack every day, claims Lyons knew the dogs were dangerous but did nothing to keep the community safe.