DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – A man whose dogs snatched and killed a 4-year-old Detroit boy as he walked with his mother has been ordered to trial on a second-degree murder charge.
A judge said Thursday there’s enough evidence to send 41-year-old Geneke Lyons to trial on the murder charge and other crimes.READ MORE: The Detroit Demolition Department Awarding Contracts To Detroit-Based Black Owned Businesses
Xavier Strickland was walking with his mother on Bayliss Street, near the Lodge Freeway and Linwood, when they were attacked by pit bulls on Dec. 2. Police had to shoot the dogs to free the boy’s body. Three of the dogs were killed by police; A fourth was seized and later euthanized.
Xavier was rushed to Children’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Lyons wasn’t at the home at the time and his attorney argued that he had no notice that the dogs were a problem in the neighborhood.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy has called it a “harrowing example of irresponsible pet ownership.”READ MORE: Fund Pays Back Tax Debt Of 1,600 Detroit Homeowners
“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.
Evidence submitted to the court included video of the attack that was recorded by a security camera.
Separately, a civil lawsuit has been filed by Xavier’s parents, in Wayne County Circuit Court, against Lyons. The boy’s mother, Lucille Strickland, claims Lyons knew his dogs were dangerous but did nothing to keep the community safe. His father, Clarence Strickland, said he just wants to see some 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.”MORE NEWS: Detroit Man Charged In Connection With Son's Fatal Shooting
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