DETROIT (WJBK) - Judge Adams, her deputy and a court reporter all appeared visibly shaken as they watched surveillance video of a vicious attack - four pit bulls that killed 4-year-old Xavier Strickland. The attack happened on December 2 as he walked to school with his mom.
“I just heard a baby crying,” testified Debra Ann Hardrick, a neighbor.
“I heard a lady's voice screaming – ‘Call the police! Call the police!’”
“I saw a lady sitting on the grass crying – saying, ‘Get my baby, get my baby!’”
Another neighbor was rushing to help Xavier's mother.
“When I looked at her, she looked up at me and said, ‘Please help me. The dogs have my baby.' And she pointed to the house on the corner.”
“I ran to the side of the house. I see the dogs and they had the child.”
It happened on the corner of the Lodge Service Drive and Baylis. Xavier Strickland's mother had been walking him to school when the dogs escaped their fenced in yard and attacked, pulling Xavier under the fence into the yard.
“All three of the dogs were hovered over the child. All I heard was growling and barking and when I looked I saw the child on the ground and the dogs were over him like they were snatching his clothes off.”
“Could you see if the child was bleeding?”
“Do you know if the child was bleeding?”
The witness says she ran to get mace and sprayed the dogs until she ran out. One of the dogs was crawling under the fence to come after her.
Police arrived and shot the dogs. Then she saw little Xavier.
“The stomach, the intestines, was hanging out of the child.”
One neighbor testified that the dogs had escaped their fenced in yard in the past.
“The personal problem that we had with those dogs was them walking down the street when we're trying to come out of our homes - that's the problem we were having with the dogs.”
“Three pit bulls walking down the street.”
It was after this chilling testimony that surveillance video from the home of Geneke Lyons was shown to the judge. She and her staff were clearly rattled.
“Reading the expression on the judge's face, on the court officer's face, on the court reporter's face was excruciating and telling,” said Mark Bernstein, attorney for the victim’s family.
Testimony resumes on Wednesday to determine if the owner of the pit bulls should stand trial for murder for the death caused by his dogs.