Saturday, October 11, 2008
Couple Receives 7 Years
UPDATE 10/11/08: Both defendants were sentenced to seven years in prison for their connection to a dog attack that killed 7-year-old Tanner Joshua Monk. Crystal Watson sobbed, "I wish I could go back to that day; I wished I’d never left." Jack Wayne Smith said, "I would trade places with that young boy anytime or with any child." His statement is at odds to the day of the fatal attack, when he asked about his dead dog, not the dead boy.
10/10/08: Swift Justice in Texas
The Young County jury deliberated less than 1 hour before returning a guilty verdict in a precedent-setting trial of the owners of four dogs that attacked and killed 7-year old Tanner Monk of Breckenridge. Defendants Jack Smith and Crystal Watson were found guilty of attack by dog resulting in death. The crime is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The punishment phase begins this morning.
10/09/08: Trial Testimony Ends
Both sides rested after a second day of testimony in the state’s first trial under Lillian's Law. Witnesses included residents who were familiar with one of the four pit bulls that reportedly killed 7-year-old Tanner Monk. Earl Trout recalled how one dog involved in the attack, Sun, once knocked him down. The dog didn’t bite him, but the fall required stitches on one arm. Trout said he crawled 35 feet to get away from the dog.
Another Leon Lake resident, Yvonne Blankenship, recounted how the same dog had attacked other dogs and killed her Jack Russell terrier. Other witnesses included forensic experts from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office. Roger Metcalfe, a forensic dentist, called the attack on the boy "one of the most awful things I’d ever seen in an autopsy." He described the gruesome wounds and claw marks found all over Tanner's body.
The first authorities on the scene were Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies Caleb Hodges and Adam Babylon. The deputies testified that the defendant, Jack Wayne Smith, approached the scene from a nearby driveway accompanied by two pit bulls and asked the deputies why they had killed his dogs. "We told him there was small boy who’d been killed," Hodges testified. "He said 'Oh,' and walked back to his house."
10/07/08: Jury Seated in Fatal Attack Trial
A 10-woman, two-man jury has been seated, and testimony has begun. Though the case originated in Stephens County, it was moved to Young County as a result of pretrial publicity. Due to the widespread interest in the case, Young County Sheriff Bryan Walls said his office, in conjunction with the Stephens County Sheriff's Office, would be providing tight security. The case is expected to last all week.
10/04/08: Last Ditch Efforts By Defense
Breckenridge, TX -The trial of a Breckenridge couple accused of owning two pit bulls that attacked and killed 7-year old Tanner Joshua Monk will continue as planned, despite efforts by their defense attorney to delay proceedings. Jury selection will begin Monday for Jack Smith, 45, and Crystal Watson, 27, who are each charged with a dog attack resulting in death. The two are the reported owners of the pit bulls that mauled the boy to death in May.
06/27/08: Pit Bull Owners Released from Jail After Fatal Attack
05/29/08: Pit Bull Owners Arrested in Death of Tanner Joshua Monk
05/26/08: 2008 Fatality: Video Tribute to Tanner Joshua Monk
05/19/08: 2008 Fatality: Boy Killed by Pit Bulls in Breckenridge, Texas
05/19/08: Roll Call: Texans Killed by Pit Bulls in 2007
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| 10/10/2008 10:32 AM |
Yes, Yes, Yes! God Bless that Jury. May the Lord keep them safe from harm, for surely there will be an aftermath from this verdict, because the Pro Pit Lobby will come out in droves to object in order to protect their right to own killing machines. They will cry for the "poor mis-judged breed", yet not one will shed a tear for this child or his family.
| 10/10/2008 11:12 AM |
Guilty... GOOD! Now I want to see the sentencing at least try to match the crime, although 20 years is the maximum. Even if they both got 20 years, the 40 year total won't match all the days Tanner will be missing from this earth.
| 10/11/2008 4:32 AM |
The two slingbladers only received seven years for killing Tanner. There still seems to be a legal blindspot irt to dogs for most people.
| 10/11/2008 3:17 PM |
Interesting that the defense lawyers complain that the couple is "being punished for the behavior of dogs, not for something that they did themselves". They go on to state that seven years in prison is unreasonable.
The pit bull fanciers always state that "it's the owner's fault, don't blame the dogs". You can't have it both ways, if it's always the owner's fault then seven years seems like a light sentence for the death of a child.
Lillian's Law shows promise.
| 10/11/2008 7:34 PM |
I called the police today because of a pit bull on the loose. The owner was setting up on the porch, on the phone, the dog, maybe 70 lbs, was running around in the street and in the neighbors yard and the police acted like I was bothering them. There were other people that were walking their dogs on leashes and the pit bull on the loose. What a bunch of crap.
| 10/11/2008 9:54 PM |
Get a video camera!Document the dog running around and with the owner.
Then go to the mayor or city council and raise heck.
Get together with other concerned citizens if you can. Get a petition signed for better laws and enforcement.
Take some printouts of examples of attacks and deaths caused by loose pit bulls.