Owner of dogs that mauled 4-year-old to death sentenced to 1 year in jail

The owner of four pit bulls that killed a 4-year-old Detroit boy apologizes to the boy's mother before learning his sentencing in court this morning.

Geneke Lyons has been sentenced to five years probation and will spend the first 12 months in jail with work release for the mauling death of Xavier Strickland.

"I'm really, really sorry," Lyons said. "I mean sorry. Very, very sorry for Xavier losing his life and I wish I could have made it back in time to save or to stop or to put the dogs down."

A judge also instructed Lyons to have no contact with dogs from this day forward. Xavier's mother, Luciellle, accepted the apology but continues to struggle with the loss of her son.

"He was the most beautiful, loving, caring ... If he knew something was wrong with you, he would walk up and give you a hug," said Lucillie Strickland, the victim's mother. "He would hug you and it would be alright."

Strickland has said previously her son's last words were "Help me, mommy" as four pit bulls yanked Xavier into Lyon's backyard.