Judge lays into prosecution for charges in pit bull mulling

The owner of several pit bulls that pulled a 4-year-old boy under a fence and mauled him to death has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter as the judge rips apart the prosecution.

Geneke Lyons, 42, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Xavier Strickland. The young boy was walking to school with his mother in Detroit in December when he was yanked under a fence by a group of pit bulls and mauled to death.

The jury concluded that Lyons created the dangerous situation by not securing his four pit bull mixes. He was also convicted of having dangerous animals causing death.

Lyons had been on trial for second degree murder but the charge was dropped on Wednesday with Judge Michael Callahan saying there was not enough evidence to proceed. On Thursday, he told the prosecution that the defendant was overcharged in this case.

"This matter could have been resolved much shorter of what the jury has now come back for. It was my understanding that due to continued prodding by the defense counsel to try to illicit from the prosecution a more meaningful crime and plea," Callahan said - before telling the prosecutor not to shake her head at him. "This matter could have been resolved short of going to trial and saved the people of Wayne County a considerable amount of money."

Callahan would not let the prosecutor respond to his words, even after she asked.

Lyons will remain free on bond until sentencing at the end of this month, despite the prosecutor's protest that he be jailed immediately.

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