Pit Bull Kills Boy archived
Summerville, SC - In today's tragedy, a 2-year old boy wandered out of the back door of his grandmother's home and was killed by his grandmother's pit bull. The approximately 40-pound dog latched onto Holden Jernigan's throat and head, inflicting fatal wounds, Dorchester County sheriff's 1st Sgt. Mike Miller said. Holden died in the backyard of Tracey Shelton's home in the 100 block of Barshay Drive where two signs in the front windows warned, "Beware of the dog."
Thursday morning a toddler was killed by a family pet at Flowertown Village in Summerville. 2-year-old Holden Jernigan wandered into the backyard of his grandmother's house and was brutally attacked by the family's pit bull. It happened on Barshay Drive at 10:00 a.m.
"The child was deceased upon our arrival. The child was in the care of his grandmother," said Sheriff Ray Nash, who was at the scene. "We've got an investigative team that's working the case and I'm sure as more and more of these details come to light, we'll know exactly what happened, what transpired and what the appropriate response of this agency will be." - ABC News 4
This is the second fatal pit bull attack in Dorchester County this year. Back in April, 1-year old Brian Palmer was killed by the family's pit bull. The dog, taken in as a stray by the family, had gotten out of the laundry room. Brian was found in an upstairs room fatally mauled. The dog had killed a relative's cat about a week earlier. There were no adults present at the time of the attack, only two other children. The boy's mother was charged with unlawful conduct toward a child.
Nobody at Shelton's Flowertown Village house would talk to the newspaper Thursday. Miller said Shelton was watching Holden for his parents, Scott and Amber Jernigan. One of Shelton's neighbors said the dog was usually chained in the fenced backyard but had often gotten loose. Wanda Mizell said she kept her 4-year-old grandson inside and that she tried not to go outside unless she had to when the dog was roaming the street.
The dog was on about 25 feet of chain when animal control officers arrived Thursday, McKee said, but it was unknown if he was chained at the time of the attack. He was not aggressive toward the officers, she said. - Nita Birmingham, Post and Courier, December 14, 2007
Holden's grandmother was later charged in connection to his death. It was reported on Dec. 17 that Shelton was charged with unlawful donduct towards a child. "Although this is tragic event for everyone involved and our heart goes out to the family, the death of this child could have, and should have been prevented," Sheriff Ray Nash said in a statement. Prosecutors say Shelton fell asleep while watching the boy. He wandered into the fenced yard and was killed by the pit bull.