DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Jurors have watched a video of a 4-year-old Detroit boy being mauled to death by pit bulls.
Prosecutors played the video Thursday on the first day of trial for the owner, Geneke Lyons, who is charged with second-degree murder and other crimes. Some jurors cried after watching what happened outside a house last December.READ MORE: MDOT: Final Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup Of 2021 Starts September 25
Xavier Strickland was walking with his mother on Bayliss Street, near the Lodge Freeway and Linwood, when they were attacked by dogs on Dec. 2. Police had to shoot the dogs to free the boy’s body. Three animals were killed; a fourth was euthanized.
When she filed charges, prosecutor Kym Worthy called the attack a “harrowing example of irresponsible pet ownership.”
“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.READ MORE: Invasive Species Found After Mid-Michigan Dam Failures
Lyons wasn’t at the home at the time. Defense attorney Francisco Villarruel told jurors it was an awful accident, not a crime.
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.
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