Step-Grandfather and Grandmother Indicted on Murder Charges
Olivia Floyd, 7, was killed by a relative's rottweiler in Waynesboro, Virginia.
Grandparents Plead Guilty
UPDATE 02/06/23: Waynesboro Circuit court records show that on February 3, 2023 the step-grandfather and paternal grandmother of a child who was killed by a rottweiler last year, pleaded guilty to several charges. Stephen Kachmar, 61, pleaded guilty to one count of felony harboring a vicious canine. Penny Bashlor, 65, pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and felony cruelty injury to a child. Prison sentences were suspended, and both began a 3-year probation term.
Had a jury trial been held, Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney David Ledbetter said he would have had witness testimony that the couple's rottweiler, "Ranger," had bitten five different people. Even more damaging would have been the testimony of the dog’s trainer, who on two occasions told the couple to get rid of a gate between the house and family area because the dog was guarding it. The trainer also would have said the dog "was a ticking time bomb," Ledbetter said.
The child’s parents, Brooks Anthony Floyd and Alicia Rene Floyd, each face one count of felony cruelty injury to a child. Hearings in both cases are set for March 13. All four individuals were indicted by a Waynesboro Circuit Court Special Grand Jury in May of 2022 after Kachmar’s neutered rottweiler, which had a history of aggression, fatally attacked 7-year old Olivia Floyd on January 29, 2022, while she was visiting her grandparent’s home on Parker Heights Road.
Note: Two weeks after the child’s grandparents pleaded guilty, charges against the child’s parents were dropped. Ledbetter said he opted not to prosecute. "We've got to be respectful of the fact that the parents suffer their own unique punishment everyday through the loss of a child."
05/17/22: Extensive Criminal Charges
On May 13, 2022, multiple arrests were carried out by Waynesboro and Augusta County law enforcement officers in connection to the death of a 7-year old girl. Olivia Floyd was mauled and killed by a rottweiler while visiting her step-grandfather's home in January. One day after the deadly attack, police charged Stephen Christopher Kachmar with harboring a dangerous dog. Now Kachmar and his wife, the child's paternal grandmother, are facing murder charges.
Kachmar, 60, and Penny Lee Bashlor, 64, of Waynesboro, who co-owned the neutered rottweiler, "Ranger," are each being charged with five felony offenses: non-capital murder; involuntary manslaughter; child abuse and neglect; child cruelty and injuries; and vicious dog, serious injury. These offenses carry a potential sentence of up to 70 years. Ranger had allegedly bitten two people prior to killing Floyd. Given the charges, the dog likely has a more extensive history.
The child's parents are also being charged. Brooks Anthony Floyd, 39, and Alicia Rene Floyd, 37, both of Augusta County, are each being charged with child cruelty and injuries, a felony offense that carries a potential sentence of up to 5 years. Kachmar and Bashlor are currently being held without bond at Middle River Regional Jail. Brooks Floyd is also being held at Middle River Regional Jail. Alicia Floyd was released on a personal recognizance bond after the arrest.
Four Family Members Charged
The last time we saw more than two family members charged after a fatal dog attack was in 2012. Jazilyn Mesa, 15-months old, was killed by her father's pit bull in the backyard of her grandparent's home -- the dog dragged her under a ground-level trampoline while attacking her. The baby's paternal grandmother was charged with negligent child abuse resulting in death. The baby's grandfather and father were each charged with possession of a dangerous dog resulting in death.
WHSV reports the arrests of Kachmar, Bashlor and the child's parents, "follow an extensive investigation by the Waynesboro Police Department and testimony heard before a grand jury." A joint media release from police states the indictments came from a Special Grand Jury, which in Virginia is a specific grand jury that is empaneled to, "investigate any condition which tends to promote criminal activity in the community or by any governmental authority, agency or official."
We know that Penny Bashlor, RN, has been a Nursing Supervisor at the University of Virginia Medical Center since 1998. She may have retired in 2019. Brooks Floyd, PMHNP (Psychiatric- Mental Health Nurse Practitioner), the child's father, "has been in healthcare for over a decade, starting his career as a RN at the University of Virginia's Surgical Trauma Burn ICU," according to his online profile at Comprehensive Behavioral Health (getbacktoyou.com) in Staunton, Virginia.
Media Release - Waynesboro Police Department - May 16, 2022
On May 13, 2022, law enforcement members of the Waynesboro Police Department and the Augusta County Sheriff’s Office arrested several individuals stemming from the incident on January 29, 2022, where a seven-year-old female child of Augusta County was attacked and killed by a four-year-old Rottweiler. The incident occurred at a residence located in the 200 block of Parker Heights Road in the City of Waynesboro, Virginia. These arrests follow an extensive investigation by the Waynesboro Police Department and testimony heard before a Waynesboro Circuit Court Special Grand Jury, assembled at the request of the Waynesboro Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office. Stephen Christopher Kachmar, 60 years old, of Waynesboro, VA, Penny Lee Bashlor, 64 years old, of Waynesboro, VA, Brooks Anthony Floyd, 39 years old, of Augusta County and Alicia Rene Floyd, 37 years old, of Augusta County was indicted by the Special Grand Jury and stand charged for these subsequent offenses...
01/30/22: Pet Rottweiler Kills Child
Waynesboro, VA - A 7-year old girl is dead and an adult female injured after a pet rottweiler attacked them both -- a "domestic" dog attack indicates a family dog. Waynesboro officers were dispatched to a home in the 200 block of Parker Heights Road Saturday at about 2:30 pm. When they arrived, they found the child injured. She was taken to Augusta Health, where she died of the injuries she sustained in the attack. The adult female was treated for her injuries and released.
January 30, 2022 - The Waynesboro Police Department continues to investigate the death of a 7-year-old juvenile female of Augusta County, who was killed in a domestic dog attack on January 29, 2022.
Waynesboro Police officers responded to a residence in the 200 block of Parker Heights Road at about 2:26pm for a reported domestic dog attack. When officers arrived on scene, they discovered that a Rottweiler that belonged to the residence attacked the juvenile female. The juvenile female was then transported by ambulance to Augusta Health where she would later succumb to the injuries sustained in the attack. During this attack, an adult female also suffered injuries. She was treated for her injuries and released.
The rottweiler was subsequently seized by the Waynesboro Police Department for standard quarantine protocol at a local shelter.
This investigation continues. No further information will be released at this time.
Normally, there are three to five fatal dog maulings reported by the media during the month of January. Though, there was only one reported last year -- which was another unusual Covid year. We are currently reviewing two other potential dog mauling deaths this month that received no media coverage (Florida and California). Police did not issue media releases after either death. Since 2005, this is the first fatal dog mauling we have recorded in Augusta County, Virginia.
Waynesboro police announced Monday that a man was issued a summons after a dog killed a 7-year old girl over the weekend. Stephen Christopher Kachmar, 60, was charged with harboring a dangerous dog on Sunday, a day after the fatal attack. The state statute (§ 3.2-6540 – Dangerous Dog) states that an evidentiary hearing pursuant to the summons shall be held not more than 30 days from the issuance of the summons. Kachmar can also elect to have the dog euthanized.
Police did not identify the child Monday, but did confirm that a family member owns the rottweiler. A GoFundMe created by friends of the family to help pay for funeral costs identifies the child as Olivia Grace Floyd. The animal is currently being held in quarantine at a local shelter. One man walking in the neighborhood, who declined to be named, told the News Leader that he was aware of the dog and said that he'd been warned by a neighbor to keep his distance from the canine.
01/29/22: Fatal Rottweiler Attacks - The Archival Record - DogsBite.org
08/11/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Baby Killed by Family Rottweiler with a Reported Bite History
05/26/21: 2021 Dog Bite Fatality: Pair of Family Rottweilers Kill Baby in North Carolina
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.
Why is this killer dog still alive?
Because rabies has to be ruled out. Colleen calls this a pipe dream.
They can cut off the dog’s head and examine the brain for rabies. That is an alternative.
Hi, Colleen! Where was the alleged mauling in Florida? Thank you!
The loss of a child in any circumstance is devastating. It is fascinating, though, that the “way” the child died is rarely mentioned on the funding site. What are donors to think: cancer, car accident, choking…what? Is it shame or guilt or denial? Or maybe that your honesty will set you up to be attacked a second time by rabid dog fanatics? What I believe is the menace dangerous dogs pose for our children and grandchildren is a message that needs to be spread far and wide. Who better to do it than the victims. Another little angel taken…another preventable death.
Sometimes people will mention the kid was killed by a dog. They NEVER mention it was their own pet dog. It would be bad for donations. Also they would be attacked by fans of the killer breed. “You trained that dog to attack and now it makes all Rotties look bad! My Rottie loves children, it would never hurt one! They are soo good with kids there is even a series of children’s books about them!! You should go to jail for making Rottweilers look bad!”
Obviously the “real” tragedy is making Rottenweilers look bad, not the dead little girl. /s
I am shocked we may have gone a month without a pit bull, the original canine IED, detonating. Then again there may have been several detonations and they just have not been covered.
Yes, that foolish “Good Dog, Carl” series contributed to HUGE misconceptions about this breed. And, unfortunately, it was highly successful. A pit bull struck again in the last few days, killing a 2-year old girl. Another “family” pet. This one owned by her aunt.
As long as things aren’t being swept under the rug, no news on DBO is good news, Dr. Duke.
Another little kid dead by a preventable tragedy. Rottweilers don’t live that long so I’m going to guess the parents acquired the Rott after the child was born. If the dog is older than the child, Rotts tend towards arthritis and joint pains which makes them cranky as they age.
Don’t know how many times it can be said, Rotties are not a good choice of breed for a home with children. They’re an even worse choice if they come from a shelter and/or are raised by those without fairly extensive dog handling experience.
There’s a seasoned veterinarian who wrote a book about dangerous dogs. He recalls when he was at a large vet conference, a picture of a Rottweiler came up on the screen. Spontaneously, almost all of them said out loud, “Don’t ever trust a Rottweiler.” He also carries a gun when he’s walking the beach in Florida with his family. (Lots of loose dogs.) When an off-leash Rottweiler started to approach his children, he warned the owner he would shoot it. He meant it! The dog was quickly secured.
I second Teresa’s observation. Not so much the dog, but because in the 90’s at least, when they were the power breed of the hour, only 1 in 10 clients could control their own dog. Very hazardous to work around. Just about all were muzzled.
Actually back then, pitbulls were less feared in the exam room. I guess because they are pain tolerant, and not really dominant aggressive, they were not hard to deal with.
Does anyone know when the last time a ‘rabid’ dog killed a human in the US?
I don’t remember. Most dogs in US are vaccinated. I have heard of rabies being found in stray cats, so the disease is out there.
Rabies isn’t unheard of in the US and what’s more “rescues” are buying puppies from ovverseas puppy mills and they are coming here with a long list of deadly diseases, not the least of which is rabies. It’s why the CDC has banned the import of puppies from 100 countries. I think it’s shameful that dog breeders who aren’t all puppy mills are still demonized while “rescues” are left to send vicious pitbulls and sickly dogs into the communities and they are treated like saints, while being scum!
They’ve brought leishmaniasis to Canada. There was *never* a case here until some fool rescue started importing dogs here from Greece and they *deliberately* import dogs to other countries that are infected.
Dogs with it are supposed to be culled but rescuers save them then deport them. It infects humans and why this was ever allowed, I have no idea.
There’s a rescue that distributes almost all “Leish dogs.” I can’t think of the name right now. I don’t understand why it’s allowed.
Just seen an update on this one. The grandmother is being charged with murder! That is what needs to continue happening when vicious dogs kill.
My understanding is that if the NP and RN are convicted of felony charges, they lose their medical licenses for 10 years. These two are people who should have known better. They had to have seen at least one serious dog mauling patient. They definitely had to have known how dangerous pits and rots are.
Hopefully we will see states assigning more responsibility for harboring dangerous dogs.
The murder charges were brought in Virginia.
The States of Virginia and California have more stringent laws than other states on bite histories required of shelter dogs.
I hope we are
witnessing a change in stricter laws across the board for more civic responsibility, including for family members of dog owners.
You can see by the mugshots that they’re devastated and remorseful./sarcasm
A potential sentence of up to 70 years for the grandpatents, reduced to a walk. Shocking! One wonders whether they will be getting another Rottweiler.
It’s very disturbing. We are still waiting for media reports to come out. The main (local media report) is behind a paywall. We could only access the court docket, which does not explain where the DA’s thinking was.