Dog owner convicted of involuntary manslaughter in boy’s death

Posted at 8:32 PM, Jun 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-09 20:32:07-04

DETROIT (AP) — The owner of four pit bulls that killed a 4-year-old Detroit boy has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

Xavier Strickland was walking with his mother in December when they were attacked by the dogs. Police had to shoot them to free the boy’s body.

The owner, Geneke Lyons, wasn’t home at the time. But prosecutors said he should be held responsible because the dogs weren’t under control. The evidence included security video of the fatal mauling, which left some jurors in tears.

The verdict was announced Thursday, a week after trial began. A judge earlier dismissed a second-degree murder charge.

Defense attorney Francisco Villarruel told jurors it was an awful accident, not a crime. Neighbors said they occasionally saw the dogs outside the home but didn’t call animal control.