Sunday, April 13, 2008
Minneapolis, MN - Zachary King Senior was recently acquitted for the fatal mauling of his son. Hennepin County District Court Judge Kevin Burke issued the verdict and lashed out at Minneapolis Animal Control Officers who, he said, did not do enough to warn the family of the dog's danger.
On August 16, 2007, Zachary King Junior was fatally attacked by a pit bull the father had chained in the family's basement. Authorities charged the father with second-degree manslaughter. The dog had bitten before and prosecution felt the father should be held criminally liable.
Judge Burke's lashing stuck Minneapolis Animal Control agency between a rock and a hard place. Animal control claims they only had two contacts with the pit bull before the fatal attack. In both cases, the attacks were deemed too minor to destroy the dog or deem it dangerous. Yet one of the cases (or yet a third) involved a construction worker who received 22 thousand dollars in compensation after being bit by the dog.
Another fine example of outdated dog laws -- one can't point the blame at the dog owner after multiple infractions or to the animal control agency that issued them. The finger is consistently pointed by each group to another party. Meanwhile, victims die. Judge Burke is right that this tragedy could have been prevented. It's up to public policy makers to make this a reality.
03/20/08: Father Tried for Manslaughter After Pit Bull Kills Son
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| 4/13/2008 6:33 AM |
He had the dog chained in the basement and someone needed to tell him the dog was dangerous. That beats it all. He wouldn't have wanted the dog if it wasn't dangerous.
Should have given him a 3" pocket knife and thrown him in a pit of alligators.
| 4/13/2008 9:54 AM |
what a joke. i feel very sorry for the young boy but not the father. i wouldn't be surprised if king is laying the groundwork for a lawsuit against the minneapolis animal control for failing to protect them.
| 4/13/2008 11:58 AM |
The perp's lawyer had the good foresight to choose a trial by Judge instead of a trial by jury.
The law is an ass!
The judge has a small point by pointing out another animal control breakdown...Not mentioned was the fact that the perp was actually breeding this manbiter.
| 4/13/2008 1:22 PM |
Talk about a mess! Perhaps the prosecution team will have a follow up and issue some clarification. Hard to know through news reports exactly what happened in that court room. What's clear is that the judge didn't buy the prosecution's argument at all.
| 4/14/2008 1:16 PM |
It must be terribly hard to convict (at least for a jury) after a family dog kills a child. I wonder what is happening in the Holden Jernigan case -- the grandmother is being charged with child endangerment I believe. It doesn't look like there has been any recent news.
| 4/14/2008 8:19 PM |
The mother of the other Dorchester County toddler killed by a pit bull in 2007 was convicted of reckless endangerment of a child.
Out of 35 deaths in 2007, only two dog owners have been successfully convicted. Unsat!!
| 4/17/2008 1:54 PM |
A lawyer talks about the case
Those are haunting questions indeed. None of the medical professionals who treated the pit bull bites thought to tell the family to destroy the dog. The insurance company that paid out a bite claim also made no such recommendation and did not raise rates to such an extent to get the family’s attention. The city of Minneapolis never followed up and went through the process of having the dog declared dangerous.