Babysitter Charged with Felony Involuntary Manslaughter
Loxli Chavez, 13-months old, was killed by a dog while under the care of her babysitter.
Babysitter Pleads Guilty
UPDATE 12/01/18: Back in April, Erica Nancy Jordan, 33, was charged with second-degree involuntary manslaughter, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a child, also a felony, in connection to the mauling death of 13-month old Loxli Chavez. On Friday, Jordan pleaded guilty to the charge of second-degree involuntary manslaughter as part of a plea agreement. Prosecutors dropped the charge of endangering the welfare of a child as part of the plea agreement.
Jordan had been scheduled for a bench trial Friday, but reached the plea agreement before the trial began. The plea agreement did not include a punishment recommendation, reports the Southeastern Missourian. Cape Girardeau County assistant prosecutor Julia Koester urged Judge Benjamin Lewis to impose the maximum penalty of four years in prison. The sentencing hearing for Jordan was set for January 18, 2019 in Cape Girardeau County Circuit Court in Jackson.
04/06/18: Babysitter Charged
Police have charged a babysitter in connection to the death of a baby under her care last month. Erica Nancy Jordan, 33, was charged with second-degree involuntary manslaughter for acting with criminal negligence that resulted in the death of 13-month old Loxli Chavez. She was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child. Jordan admitted to police that she knew the dog was dangerous around children; the dog had "attacked" her own son last year, biting him in the head.
The dog belonged to Jordan's brother. After the baby's death, her brother told police the dog was a mixture of Labrador retriever, Alaskan malamute and pit bull terrier, only noting the pit bull aspect in the last part. Yet, it was a male dog that only weighed 40-pounds.1 We also now know the dog was 6 or 7 years old. Court documents more accurately depict "pit bull" as being the predominant breed (listed first), calling the canine a "pit bull labrador malamute-mix named Smokey."
Jordan was "temporarily" taking care of a known biter for her brother while she babysat two new children = felony manslaughter charges.
At the time of the deadly attack, Jordan was also watching the baby's older sibling. In the probable cause statement, the mother of the baby stated the attack happened in the first week Jordan had babysat her children. She said it was never disclosed to her the dog had previously attacked Jordan's child or that it was unsuitable around kids. Jordan told police the dog had been neutered since it attacked her son; Jordan falsely believed this would remove the dog's aggression.
The Southeast Missourian provided more details from the probable cause statement. Jordan said Smokey was drinking water from a dog bowl within a few feet of Loxli just before the attack. She said she suddenly "heard screaming and crying" and saw "blood everywhere," according to the statement. Jordan said she tried to pull the dog away, but "he was so aggressive" and "just kept going for the baby." If convicted, Jordan faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.
03/13/18: Attacker was Part Pit Bull
On Monday, KZIM KSIM Radio spoke to Cape Girardeau Police Public Information Officer Sergeant Rick Schmidt who said that the owner of the dog that killed the 13-month old baby stated the dog was a mixture of Labrador retriever, Alaskan malamute and pit bull terrier. Cape Girardeau Police also reiterated this on their Facebook page. The Alaskan pit bull is a designer breed involving 50% Alaskan malamute and 50% pit bull. One website even calls it a "Mally Pit."
Schmidt also confirmed the child was at the babysitter's home when the dog attacked the baby in the face. On Friday, police responded to a call about a "dog bite" incident at 2:12 pm to a home on North Hanover Street near Themis Street. When they arrived, they found the baby girl critically injured and quickly transported her to an area hospital. She was pronounced dead about 3:30 pm. The male mixed-breed dog, which weighs about 40-pounds, belongs to the owner of the home.
03/12/18: 13-Month Old Killed by Dog
Cape Girardeau, MO - On Monday, Cape Girardeau Police issued a media release about a 13-month old baby girl that was killed by a dog. Police did not release this information until three days after the child's death. Police received a call about 2:12 pm Friday regarding an animal bite in the 000 block of North Hanover Street. They discovered a dog that lived in the residence had attacked the young child. The baby was transported to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.
The animal was impounded. Police have not released any breed information about the attacking dog. Various comments on the Cape Girardeau Police Facebook page suggest a babysitter was watching the child at the time of the deadly attack. "The child was not in the care of her parents," states one. It remains unclear if the baby lived at the North Hanover Street residence or if that residence is the babysitter's home. Ownership of the attacking dog remains unclear as well.
The baby was attacked in the babysitter's home on North Hanover Street. Police described the dog as a 40-pound "mixed-breed" -- which can certainly indicate a pit bull-mix. KFVS reports police were told they were called in to investigate a "dog bite," but when they arrived, they found the baby severely wounded and immediately took her to an area hospital. She was pronounced dead about an hour later. The dog, referred to as a male, belongs to the owner of the residence.
This was not a dog bite; it was a violent dog attack involving a 13-month old baby girl. This information, combined with the description of the dog and questionable behavior of the person watching the baby (and the dog's owner if two people were involved), serve as strong indicators that a pit bull-mix may be involved and that a criminal element may be too. Over the 13-year period of 2005 to 2017, 75% of all dog bite fatalities resulting in criminal charges involved pit bulls.
03/09/18: 2018 Dog Bite Fatality: Pet Wolf Hybrid Kills 8-Day Old Baby Girl in Virginia
Law enforcement departments across the United States should release consistent "baseline" information to the media and the public after each fatal dog mauling, including these items.