Murder by dog
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1998:
JUNCTION CITY, Kansas––A
jury in Geary County, Kansas, on January
23 convicted Sabine Davidson, 27, of
unintentional second degree murder and
endangering the life of a child for allowing
three Rottweilers to run loose. The dogs on
April 24, 1997, killed Christopher Wilson,
age 11, as he awaited a school bus with his
brother Trammell, age 9, who escaped.
Testimony by Davidson’s daughter
Victoria, age 8, established that
Davidson claimed the dogs were harmless
even after they killed Wilson. Well before
that attack, another witness testified,
Victoria complained that the dogs were
mean and that one had attacked her sister.
Davidson is to be sentenced on March 2.
Her husband Jeffrey Davidson, 41, is to
face the same charges on March 23.
Giovanni Pacino, 35, of Perth,
Australia, on February 11 was convicted by
jury of manslaughter for allowing his three
Rottweilers and a Rottweiler/German shepherd
mix to kill Perina Chokolich, 85, as
she tended her garden in June 1995. Pacino
was sentenced to serve three years in jail.
Other persons convicted of homicide
for the actions of a dog include Haywood
Turnipseed, of Georgia, whose three
pit bulls killed a four-year-old boy in 1986;
Thomas E. Powell, whose two Rottweilers
killed jogger Hoke Prevette in WinstonSalem,
North Carolina, in 1989; and
Jeffrey Mann, of Cleveland, whose pit bull
killed his girlfriend, Angela Kaplan, in
1992. Turnipseed drew five years in prison.
We have no record of Powell’s sentence.
Mann, believed to have ordered his dog to
attack, is serving 15 years to life.
Of 541 life-threatening attacks in
the U.S. and Canada by pet dogs of identified
breed logged by the editor of A N IMAL
PEOPLE since September 1982,
272 were by pit bulls, 106 were by Rottweilers,
and 41 were by wolf hybrids. No
other breed made more than 22 such
attacks. The 541 attacks resulted in 79
fatalities, including 28 by pit bulls, 22 by
Rottweilers, and 12 by wolf hybrids.
Pit bulls made 125 of the 314
attacks on children and 122 of the 146
attacks on adults. Rottweilers made 64
attacks on children and 23 on adults. Forty
of the 41 wolf hybrid victims were children;
38 were age seven or younger. The one
adult attacked by a wolf hybrid was killed
while apparently defending two children.