Tuesday, October 6, 2015
JONESBORO, CLAYTON COUNTY GA - A JURY FOUND A COUPLE GUILTY OF HAVING A DANGEROUS AND VICIOUS DOG AFTER THEIR 3 PIT BULLS ATTACKED A CHILD WALKING HOME FROM SCHOOL - JUDGE ORDERED THEM TO PAY THE FAMILY $75,000
A mother told a judge Tuesday her 14-year-old son could have lost his life when 3 PIT BULLS attacked him as he walked home from school.
Channel 2’s Tom Jones was in court when the dog's owners were sentenced and ordered to pay restitution.
Thaddious Strozier and Sharrita Johnson Hunt were sentenced to probation.
But the judge ordered them to pay nearly $75,000 after their three pit bulls attacked the teen.
The couple apologized to the teen's mother in court.
“I just wanted to say I'm sorry for what happened to him. It wasn't on purpose,” Johnson-Hunt told the mother.
“I just want to apologize. Cause like I say I wasn't there when it happened,” Strozier said.
The dog attack happened on Jimmy Lee Circle in September 2014.
Prosecutors say the teen was on the way home from school when the pit bulls pounced on him, mauling him.
“He had to have plastic surgery to reattach a portion of his ear,” said Assistant Solicitor General Charles Brooks.
Neighbors called 911.
“Hi, we got a dog that done bit up a little boy over here,” one neighbor said in the call to 911.
Prosecutors say Strozier owned the dogs and Johnson left the animals in the care of a minor who she should have known couldn't control them.
“Each of us who owns dogs has to be particularly responsible particularly when our pets are under the care of minor children,” said Chief Assistant Solicitor General Keith Gammage
A jury found the couple guilty of having a dangerous and vicious dog outside.
The judge sentenced Johnson Hunt to five years’ probation. Strozier received 5 1/2 years’ probation.
The couple must pay the teen's mother thousands in restitution.
The teen's mother, Shirvonne Cox, told the court she's glad this is over.
“My son could have lost his life on that day and this has been a very long process for him and myself,” Cox said.
Cox told Jones that her son is back in school and doing OK.
She hopes the incident sends a message to dog owners to keep dangerous animals locked up.