Dog owner whose pit bulls ripped little girl’s neck apart is charged with murder – Metro.co.uk
A man whose pit bulls pulled a nine year-old girl off her bike before ripping her neck apart has been charged with the youngster’s murder.
Pierre Cleveland, 33, was charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and having a dangerous animal causing death at a court hearing Thursday.
Those allegations relate to the horrific death of Emma Hernandez, who was mauled by the three dogs while riding her bike in Detroit on Monday evening and killed.
The youngster’s 12 year-old brother was among eyewitnesses who saw her terrible final moments.
Cleveland spoke only to confirm his name at a court hearing on Thursday, WXYZ reported, and was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail.
The court heard how one of Cleveland knew one of the dogs had previously killed several puppies born in his house.
One of the animals was shot by a neighbor while attacking Hernandez, with the other two taken in by animal control workers.
Detroit Animal Care and Control said: ‘Due to the severity of this case, it is very likely the dogs will be euthanized.’
The dogs that killed Emma are believed to have been allowed to roam free, and are believed to have struck while the youngster was riding her bike down an alleyway that ran behind her home.
One neighbor who asked not to be named spoke of their shock at Emma’s gruesome death, saying: ‘You’re talking about a 9-year-old girl who was just out there playing, and now she’s not here.’
A tribute left for Emma on a GoFundMe page set up to cover funeral expenses said: ‘Emma dedicated her life to school work, playing and enjoying life with her family.
‘Quick to get a head start on school work. She was such a smart and silly girl.
‘Loved to be outdoors and play with her cousins.
‘A beautiful soul inside andare all devastated by Emma’s loss.’