Prosecutor: pack of dogs "saw child as a meal"

A 4-year-old boy was mauled and torn apart by a pack of dogs after being pulled under a fence. Now, the owner is charged and the family attorney has a message to dog owners.

- A Detroit man has been charged with second degree murder for the death of a 4-year-old boy who was mauled to death after being pulled under the fence by his dogs.

On Monday, Geneke Lyons was in Wayne County Court where prosecutor Kym Worthy charged him with second degree murder for the death of 4-year-old Xavier Strickland.

The boy was walking with his mom last Wednesday when he was pulled under the fence by dogs and mauled on Baylis at the Lodge. His mom was walking Xavier to Thurgood Marshall Elementary where he went to kindergarten and she volunteered everyday.

After being pulled under the fence, Xavier's mom, Lucille, jumped on top of her son to try and protect him from the animals.

"I will never ever, ever get it out of my head - there's no question to that - will I forgive him? Possibly," she said on Wednesday.

"Right now, today, I wish I could lay down and let those dogs eat me instead of him," his father, Clarence Strickland, said.

Xavier's parents say the dogs had gotten loose once before and bit their daughter. They called animal control and the dog's owner put them away - for a while. On Wednesday, the unthinkable happened.

"Nothing could ever bring my four-year-old joyful son back that loved his mama and daddy and everybody he was around. Nothing - no amount of money - no time he could serve will bring him back," Clarence said.

Attorney Mark Bernstein is representing the family and recently represented another man who lost his limbs in a dog attack and was awarded a $100 million judgement. He says this case is even worse.

"There's no excuse for this type of injury to occur to anybody in our city," Bernstein said. "This is the death of a four-year-old child walking to elementary school. We believe that $100 million in this case is, candidly, on the low end."

The Wayne County Prosecutor says the dogs saw young Xavier as a meal and have charged Lyons with second degree murder, manslaughter, and possessing dangerous animals causing death. Lyons was denied bond and remanded to jail. Xavier's dad with this message to every dog-owner

"So they can't get out and hurt nobody - kill people like they did my son - every day, every minute, every second, go out there and check on them dogs - it's terrible," Clarence said.

Bernstein says they're trying to send a message to neglectful dog owners that they will pay in both criminal and civil court for the actions of the animals.

It's unknown if Lyons has apologized to the family at this time.


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