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Mother and grandmother accused of involuntary manslaughter in Texas

After the family pet Pit Bull dog attacked and killed the older of her 2 children during a sibling argument in Houston, Texas, a mother and grandmother were accused of involuntary manslaughter.

Recently divorced, a mother and her 2 boys ages 9 and 11 moved 2 hours away to live with grandma. The boys started fighting over who’s turn it was to play a game. The dog, lying on the couch during the argument, suddenly jumped off the couch and grabbed the older boy by his neck. The boy later died at the hospital. The argument between the brothers had gotten physical and the dog reacted. The authorities removed the remaining child. The mother and grandmother where charged with involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment. The authorities claimed that the mother and grandmother knew or should have known that their pet Pit Bull was dangerous and had shown dangerous propensities in the past.

I was hired by the defendant as an expert in Pit Bull Behavior and what a reasonably responsible pet Pit Bull owner should know or should have known about the aggressive propensities of a Pit bull dog. I was able to show what should have been known about aggression. The case was somewhat complicated in that there were a few different scenarios involving aggression with the dog. For example, during an attempted robbery the dog protected the family by attacking the intruder.

I was able to show that the defendants would not have recognized those displays of aggression as prior knowledge of their pet Pit Bull possibly being a dangerous dog.