Lee Becham, 76, died after being brutally attacked by pit bulls in Crawford County.
UPDATE 03/10/20: A couple has been arrested in connection to the mauling death of a 76-year old man last month, the Crawford County sheriff said Tuesday. Samuel Arthur Brown, 55, and Angel Ann Brown, 52, were arrested on involuntary manslaughter charges after Lee Becham was discovered dead in the yard of his residence in the 1900 block of Marshall Mill Road on February 23. The autopsy results showed Becham died of "traumatic injuries due to dog attack."
Authorities later seized three dogs from the Brown's care, a pair of pit bulls and a Labrador retriever-mix, Sheriff Lewis Walker confirmed. Currently, the Browns are "awaiting their first appearance hearing at the time of this press release," Walker stated Tuesday. The last felony charges related to a fatal dog mauling in Georgia occurred in December after three pit bulls viciously attacked 47-year old Lorena Cordova on September 16 in Gwinnett County.
WMAZ spoke to Walker, who said, "As this investigation took its course, there wasn't any disagreements about the involvements the dogs had in it." The Browns reside on Atkinson Road, just feet away from Becham's home. WMAZ also spoke to Monty Beverely, who previously shot at the dogs to defend himself. "We all just want justice done," he said. "It's just a horrible way to die." The judge set the couple's bond at $20,000 each. Their next court date is set for May 22.
A Crawford County couple appears in court Tuesday in connection with a fatal dog mauling.
03/05/20: Preliminary Autopsy Results
Preliminary autopsy results show that a 76-year old man found mauled and dead last month died of injuries he sustained in a dog attack. "The preliminary autopsy results for Lee Alvin Becham was traumatic injuries due to dog attack," Sheriff Lewis Walker stated in an updated March 5 press release. "Three dogs that are suspected in this case have been removed from their owners." Becham was discovered dead in the yard of his home on Marshall Mill Road on February 23.
Deputy Coroner Kenneth Winslett pronounced Becham dead at the scene. On February 24, Coroner Sheldon Mattox confirmed that Becham had "severe dog bite marks" on both of his extremities. According to family members, the three dogs, all described as pit bulls, approached investigators at the scene growling, but the suspected dogs were not taken into custody at that time. Walker said that no canines would be seized until a cause of death was determined.
02/27/20: Victim was a War Veteran
There has been no new information since February 24. At that time, Sheriff Lewis Walker said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) would conduct the autopsy. Many times, the GBI takes over the investigation of a fatal dog mauling in rural Georgia jurisdictions. This law enforcement agency has seen many of these cases. We hope the same is true after the death of 76-year old Lee Becham. He died after being brutally attacked in his own yard by one or more loose pit bulls.
A relative provided unconfirmed information on the WMAZ Facebook post several days ago. She said the dogs approached officials growling at the crime scene while they were investigating. She commented on how the dogs were not killed or quarantined and wondered why. To answer her question, it is unheard of for law enforcement to not seize suspected dogs after a death shows "severe dog bite marks." These dogs are routinely seized before autopsy results are known.
Becham served in the U.S. Army and was a Vietnam War veteran, according to his obituary. He went on to attend technical school and began working as a plumber's apprentice in Lizella. He later established his own business, "Becham Plumbing." He worked for over four decades and eventually became a certified plumber inspector. Becham loved the outdoors, working in his yard and riding his Harley Davidson. His celebration of life service will be held Saturday afternoon.
Friday Evening Update
On Friday evening, WGXA reported that GBI has completed the autopsy of 76-year old Lee Becham. The man was discovered dead in his yard covered in "severe dog bite marks" last week. Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker said the cause of death would not be released because this is an ongoing investigation. When Becham was found unresponsive in his yard on February 23, sheriff's officials declined to seize the suspected three or four pit bulls belonging to a neighbor.
02/24/20: Sheriff's News Release
Crawford County, GA - Earlier today, Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker confirmed that a 76-year old man was found unresponsive in his own yard in the 1900 block of Marshall Mill Road on February 23 at about 5:08 pm. Deputy Coroner Kenneth Winslett pronounced Lee Alvin Becham dead at the scene. There were "signs of bite marks" on his body, Walker said. Coroner Sheldon Mattox later confirmed that Becham had severe dog bite marks on both of his extremities.
Neighbors said that a pack of pit bulls have been a problem in the area. The man even had to shoot at the dogs last week. An autopsy is being conducted to determine his cause of death. Google Earth shows that on a property close to Becham's home, there appears to be a "yard" of pit bulls. Those look like chaining circles in the photograph and at the side of each is a doghouse or barrel. This is a common set up for breeders of fighting dogs; we call them crop circles.
County officials said that three or four pit bulls live next-door to Becham's home, reports WMAZ. Neighbor Monty Beverly said the dogs have been problematic since the owners moved in less than a year ago. He was forced to fetch his shotgun to ward off one of the dogs. He eventually shot at one to defend himself and his wife. Beverly was Becham's neighbor and his friend. "If I knew them dogs were going to jump on my buddy down there, he'd be a dead dog," he said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) will conduct the autopsy. "He did have bite marks on his body," Sheriff Lewis Walker said, so we are going to send his body to the GBI crime lab. The autopsy has been rescheduled for Tuesday morning, Coroner Maddox said. Currently, none of the canines have been seized. Walker said they would not take the dogs until a cause of death is determined. This is apparently under the assumption the dogs will still be around at that time.
View typical "yards" of fighting dogs we have collected over the years here and here.
12/27/19: 2019 Dog Bite Fatality: Woman Dies After Vicious Dog Attack in Dacula, Georgia
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.
That’s so terrifying, having to live near that. Sounds like he knew they were a danger, but he wasn’t able to get away .
That was my uncle , they tore his pants off while he was trying to get away then ate one of his arms off.
Matt, my prayers are with you and your family. I am so very sorry.
Matt, please accept my deepest condolences. What a terrible nightmare for you and your family. No one should experience this kind of suffering.
I am sorry that your uncle had to live and die this nightmare. I hope you and the rest of the family get some justice.
Please accept my condolences on the needless and tragic death of your uncle. It must be hard to know the truth about what these dogs really did to him in his last moments but to read words that minimalize the horror of it such as “he had signs of bite marks.” If people knew the whole truth of the barbaric brutality of these attacks I think that minds would begin to change.
Again, I am so sorry. This never should have happened.
Very sorry to hear of your loss, and thank you for letting us know what really happened. We must always remember that these preventable tragedies have a huge impact on families and friends of the victim. Because in every case, the victim was somebody’s father, mother, sister, brother, cousin, uncle, or aunt. RIP Mr. Becham.
Matt, I’m so sorry this has happened to your Uncle, this should never happen to anybody. I will be praying for you and your family.
I’m late to this, but Matt, I want to join the others here in saying how terribly, terrible sorry I am for your and your family’s loss. I hope very much that they find the animals responsible and the owner is punished; I know it won’t ease your family’s suffering, but hopefully it will at least give your uncle the justice he deserves.
My thoughts and prayers for your family.
Nice happy life in the USA, neighbors legal dangerous wild animals = Death. If I want to go to Heaven, all I have to do is skip the fast food, skip the alcohol and tobacco, skip the motorcycle ride, and just simply step out my back door onto my unfenced property and if I make it to the street curb, walk seven miles per day. Soon, just to make the local powers in Prescott happy, that is where I will end up, instead of (twice) getting out of a severe mauling the same way James Bond gets out of Russia. The view of the satellite photo is to neighborhood fear as viewing satellite photos of Pyongyang SAM sites is to Seoul fear.
As the pit bull population increases, so do the maimings and deaths. Unfortunately, I think the deaths and maulings will have to increase a lot before many people will step forward demanding change. Fortunately my neighbors don’t have pit bulls.
Deaths are going to increases exponentially in the future since the police are leaving known aggressive dogs in the neighborhoods. Not laying these dogs out while police had the opportunity is unthinkable.
I am so shocked to see that! I have to wonder if this is a dogfighting ring and the police are somehow involved, because the idea of them just ignoring those dogs at a scene like that is just…I just literally cannot imagine what the thinking was there.
There are parts of this county where people are frequently terrorized by pit bulls – the south, the south west, and some urban areas (Detroit). I cannot understand how the owners of this type of dog are not constantly afraid that their dog(s) could get lose and kill someone. The neighboring property with the pit bull farm is disgusting. Law enforcement has no immediate intention of going to the pit bull farm and impounding the dogs. Right now, this farm and the neighbors are likely making plans to hide their dogs elsewhere until this blows over. There is too much of an investment at that pit bull farm to not protect it.
Probably one or more of the cops is in on the pit farm action.
You are probably right.
Yep, that was my first thought, too. And yep, by the time someone makes them go to get the dogs, they’ll be long gone, shipped off to some other town to terrorize other innocent people, and probably to be bred, as well.
I am also appalled that the dogs have not been seized. One could always return them to the owner of the evidence does not support that they were the perpetrators of this fatality. Too many owners ignore or minimize the dangers that their dogs are capable of. My heart goes out to this latest victim, as well as his guilt ridden neighbor/friend. The dogs moved into a quiet neighborhood and promptly caused mayhem.
People with pit bulls running loose generally have no money. Too often they are in denial that their dogs can or will maul people and animals. Or they simply don’t care.
The only way they will care is to put them in prison. The woman whose Presas killed Diane Whipple is still in prison, and she’s served a lot of years now. I bet she wishes she had made a better choice.
Marjorie Knoller was denied parole last May. It was her first application. She can apply again in 2022.
“Crop circles”, ew. I was just reading over the fighting seizure in Canada a few years back, where pit bull rescues beat up the humane society so bad for wanting to euthanize the seized animals that the humane society now basically refuses to investigate dog fighting. I wonder how much of that sort of battle affected the willingness of other areas to investigate dog fighting and, say, people who happen to have a dozen pit bulls staked out to trees.
I have one hesitation about the neighbor with the bizarre pit bull farm in that I have always gotten the impression that chained fighting pit bulls typically don’t get loose. We don’t see too many attacks where the dogs were escaped fighters – I assume they’re somewhat valuable so the owners manage to keep them secured in a wholly unpit-bull-owner way rather than letting them romp around the neighborhood eating people and drawing police attention.
Although the chained pit bulls at the pit bull farm don’t get loose, their offspring likely do. A dog house and a heavy duty chain cost very little.
How many puppies are they producing? Do their puppies go to dog fighters and/or the public. How many are left in shelters?
What are the chances that this poor fella was killed by anything other than those pit bulls?? Pretty much zero. Let’s look at the facts..lives next door to nutter who has pit bulls, possibly training them to fight, the pit bulls frequently get loose and harass neighbours who say been a problem since said nutter moved in, elderly victim, extremeties shredded etc etc
Hello!!!! anyone??! FFS! Instead of waiting for confirmation it is those dogs, why don’t the authorities just take the dogs and then return them if they are innocent. I don’t understand why they never were confiscated anyway, for roaming around unsecured.
Jenny, pits don’t need any training to fight or attack. Once they “start” they are not stopping and the genetic behaviors become more frequent and brisker in onset.
Why does it seem that nutters always have 3 or 4 of these beasts, AND let roam around everywhere.?! People who can’t/don’t contain their dogs (especially bully breeds), need to have them confiscated. It’s not fair to the neighborhood to be harassed by vicious dogs.
Rest in peace to this man who lost his life in such a horrible way. I hope all of the attacking dogs get put down.
I don’t think a lot of pit bull owners care what happens to their dogs. They can just get new dogs.
So sorry for the loss of this man. This is ridiculous. I live in rural Georgia. I walk a lot for exercise and I always carry protection when I’m out walking. I always have a very sharp pointy knife clipped to my waistband and either a .45 or 9mm. It’s a shame having to carry just to go on a walk, but unfortunately the dang pits are always carrying.
“it is unheard of for law enforcement to not seize suspected dogs after a death shows “severe dog bite marks.” “.
Thank you for today’s update. I wonder why the crime scene investigating officials did not seize the suspected dogs that, according to a relatives unconfirmed report, growled at them while they were at the scene investigating. It is hard to put the puzzle together when several different players holding various pieces have conflicting motives.
I don’t get it.
If someone had a “golden retriever farm” people would be out in droves demanding better treatment for the dogs that being chained out in the hot and cold all day.
There’s this weird mindset. Somehow, people cry the blues about “the misunderstood pibbles” yet the same pitbull lovers are nowhere to be found, demanding that pitbull farms be shut down, pronto.
Seems they only care about “dog abuse” when they’re concluding that some vicious mauling or death happened because “the poor poor abused pibble” but they don’t care when the pitbulls they’re purchasing from somewhere are housed in worse conditions than a puppy mill.
Now some poor fellow has died as a direct result of this pitbull farm, or the possible indirect result which would be the overbreeding of said pitbulls and dumping them on the market cheap while advertising about how they are “nanny dogs”.
It’s like logic just doesn’t enter their minds.
Another puzzling inconsistency I think about is that people are desperate to rescue full grown pit bulls and turn around and say whether or not they are vicious depends on how they were raised. Huh? How do you know how any grown dog in a shelter was raised?
They aren’t even legal here, we have BSL, and there are still some fools who “rescue” them without thinking of the consequences or following the muzzle laws. They don’t even “love” these dogs enough to muzzle them so the dog isn’t removed from their custody.
I run the other way when I see them with a dog that can pull 1000lbs of car, and they are being dragged down the street by a pitbull on a harness with a flimsy extenda-lead.
If someone is so stupid that they’d risk being dragged into traffic and killed by their own excitable, powerful dog, they’re too stupid to look out for anyone else’s safety.
And therein lies the bleeding heart pibble problem.
If they thought logically, they wouldn’t be pit nutters to begin with. (And they certainly don’t care about the thousands of innocent dogs and cats and other animals who are brutally maimed and/or killed by their Pwecious Pibbles every year, either.)
But I think the real issue is that pit bull advocacy goes hand in hand with dog fighting; they don’t protest or draw attention to the abuse of fighting dogs because they’re involved in it. The rank-and-file advocates, all the misguided women running or donating to at-home “rescues,” yelling at people on social media, and sharing pictures of children flopped all over maulers, they’re just Useful Idiots, and if they try to kick up a fuss about this sort of thing they’ll soon find their more powerful, higher-ranking friends aren’t taking their calls.
We’ve seen this happen with places like Spindletop, where a number of people were aware that something was wrong but the woman running it was well-connected, so everyone ignored it lest they be attacked or cut off from their ‘friends’ in the rescue community.
If speaking out about animal abuse is going to get you in trouble in a community that is supposed to care about helping animals, that should tell you something about that community…but of course it never does, because again, nutters and logic don’t mix.
While pit nutters are clearly the worst, and most dangerous of them, the “dog rescuer” community is full of some of the most toxic and deluded people, I ever met.
And that comes from someone with a track record of improving unstable dogs and retiring dogs from protection work.
Just go on any dog training site and they have infected the place with stupidity while they drag around horribly behaved dogs, all the while, excusing their training failures because “it’s a rescue”.
The problem with pitbulls is adding to the general crappy temperaments that are being bred, and the many nonsense “behaviouralists”, most of whom are clueless beyond belief about actual dog handling and more about selling their services to people who are overly invested in their dog’s happiness as opposed to societal well being, then throw in their lack of accounting for instinct–and it’s a recipe for disaster.
The results are the murder of friendly animals and other humans. It doesn’t get more dire, than that.
Thank you so much Colleen, and also thank you Matt for commenting.
Our sincere condolences to Matt and entire family.
Do you know if GA requires these dogs to be euthanized? It is concerning that the word “rescue” or some variation of it was in that article 5 times. “Adopt” and “home” (as in re-homing) did not appear anywhere. The protocol is to keep the animals alive and captive in shelter/quarantine type facilities until court dates as they are considered evidence but I am concerned that these dogs will be placed with the public. I suspect this operation will cost upwards of $100,000 tax dollars in boarding, veterinary care, and litigation.
First off I’m not trying to be offensive or in any way minimalist what happened. But while you all are bashing on the owners you should know the facts. The were 3 dogs involved total. One lab, and 2 pits, they were household pets (only 3 animals in the house). And 2 of them were rescue dogs adopted to the owners from the sheriff department 2 years ago. The dogs were not seized right away. They were placed in quarantine at the owners house. Only to be taken out to potty on a leash. I am very sorry for the loss but this was an unforeseen tragedy and it hard on everyone involved. The family of the deceased and the owners.
Quote snip Holly: “…Only to be taken out to potty on a leash. …” Really? Why do the authorities think such is Not what happened?
“Affidavits for arrest show the couple allowed their three dogs, a bulldog mix, a lab mix, and another bulldog to roam freely and weren’t under any physical control or containment. ”
Above quote snip is from: wgxa.tv/news/local/two-people-arrested-in-crawford-county-after-a-man-is-mauled-to-death-by-dogs
If the owners of dangerous animals loved their neighbor, instead of being wicked and hating their neighbor, they wouldn’t have allowed their dangerous animals to roam freely.
Well, anyway, we can’t be rid of evil people in this very brief, hostile, earthly life, but at least we can tell who they are by they are by their actions and when their lips are moving.
“I am very sorry for the loss but…”
Typical pit apologist backhanded sympathy. There’s always a “but” involved.
“I’m sorry your baby got eaten, but don’t blame all pit bulls.”
“I’m sorry your grandmother was mauled and left in a ditch, but all dogs can bite.”
“I’m sorry your cat was eviscerated in front of your kids, but my pit bull is the sweetest wiggle butt.”
An “unforeseen tragedy” is a tornado ripping through in the dead of the night, a cancer diagnosis, or a semi tire flying off and nearly killing you on the side of the road.
Pit bull type dogs killing a vulnerable member of society falls into the “high probability” column. There is nothing “unforeseeable” about it.
The facts, that you seem to find so important, are that the owners allowed their dogs to be unrestrained, the dogs killed and innocent man, and the owners are 100% responsible for Lee Beecher’s death. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT. The history of the dogs’ adoption is irrelevant. That they’re “household pets” is irrelevant.
Can I can go kill someone with a gun and use the excuse that it was a household gun that I adopted through the sheriff’s department 2 years ago? I can’t imagine it wouldn’t work as a viable defense against manslaughter. It sounds totally rational.
Well said. She used the word “but” twice to make every excuse and to get empathy for the Browns. No, thank you, Holly!
The dogs’ history is irrelevant. They need to be euthanized immediately as soon as it’s proven they are the dogs that mauled someone.
A reasonable dog under serious and I mean, serious, duress may bite and run. A dog that mauls is dangerous.
A responsible owner would immediately euthanize the dogs. Anything else is just excuses to not do what responsible dog owners, do.