Detroit Man Charged With Homicide In Fatal Pit Bull Attack Of Four-Year-Old Child

635850979721111691-lyons635847313598550898-XavierStricklandGeneke Antonio Lyons, 41, has been charged with homicide after his four pit bulls killed 4-year-old Xavier Strickland as his mother fought to protect him.


Lucillie Strickland was walking with Xavier at about 12:30 p.m. on her way to volunteer at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School when the pit bulls attacked them. She fell on the boy and was bit on her ear, leg and back. When she rose, the dogs grabbed Xavier and pulled him under a fence and killed him.

Lyons is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and possessing dangerous animals causing death. The dogs were reportedly a constant menace in the neighborhood and had previously escaped. Indeed, the boy’s 9-year-old sister had been attacked by the dogs last month but the dogs got away. The family has filed a lawsuit.

Under the common law, dogs unlike wild animals are not subject to strict liability. As a domesticated animal, dogs are subject to a negligence standard. This led to the evolution of a “one-free-bite” rule where after a bite, the dog was presumed to be vicious and the owner was potentially subject to strict liability for future attacks. The rule is a bit of a misnomer. You do not get a free bite if the dog showed vicious propensities in other ways.

It is often said that Michigan does not have the traditional one-free-bite rule. That is not entirely accurate. Instead it has a statutory and a common law standard. Under the Michigan Dog Bite Statute (MCL § 287.351), the first bite is sufficient for liability if the victim (1) was lawfully on the property and (2) did not provoke the dog. There is also a common law rule that, while said not to be a one-free-bite rule, comes close to the common law rule. It states that the victim only has to prove that the owner of the dog knew (or should have known) that the dog had vicious propensities. That is pretty much the same standard since the one free bite was viewed as giving the owner notice of the vicious propensities of the animal. That notice can be established by other means than an actual bite. Nevertheless, it is true that this common law is superseded by the statutory provision when applicable.

In this case, the dog would fall under any of the rules — statutory or common law. The prior reported incident would be enough to establish notice of the vicious propensities of the dogs.

Source: Freep

24 thoughts on “Detroit Man Charged With Homicide In Fatal Pit Bull Attack Of Four-Year-Old Child”

  1. There was a reported case of a Pitt Bull emasculating an infant in Southern California a few years ago.

    I hope it was not true.

    Jaw pressure must be the criterion for banning “pets.”

    Rottweilers, Pit Bulls, Ridgebacks, German Shepherds, etc., are potentially lethal.

    The potential danger must be eliminated.

    Jaw pressure greater than that of a Chihuahua belongs in a cage in a zoo.

    This case is murder, not incidental manslaughter.

    These owners know exactly what they have on the ends of their leashes – murder weapons.

  2. I think he’s the last person still getting that Chris Matthew’s “thrill up his leg” about the assistant professor. LOL.

  3. The only person who mentioned Obama was the increasingly unhinged Canadian lad.

  4. Lloyd Blankfien-bankster

    There are these trolls that blame absolutely everything on Obama. They catch a cold-Obama’s fault. A criminal commits a crime-blame Obama. These are the types that Trump is addressing, angry, simple minded, and looking for one person on which to blame everything. Obama has been doing a yeoman’s job steering this dysfunctional country forward with the right wing dragging this country backwards at every step. He has taken liberties but when you add it up, the US is better off having had Obama for President than any of the other options. There is certainly no one on the Republican side of this bi-polar country that would do anything but drag us back. Progress, evolution, maturity, call it what you will; unfortunately these are all dirty words to some, some of the inhabitants of this blog, the ones that dwell under the bridges to the future, not the ones trying to bridge to the future.

  5. Amazing. This tragedy is blamed on democrats, especially those not carrying enough concealed firepower to disable 4 attacking killer beasts. Maybe you guys can get your beloved Trump to ban the breeding of pit bulls, since they kill more in a year in US than your ‘terrists’ do…

    42 U.S. dog bite-related fatalities occurred in 2014. Despite being regulated in Military Housing areas and over 700 U.S. cities, pit bulls contributed to 64% (27) of these deaths. Pit bulls make up about 6% of the total U.S. dog population.2

  6. I pray for the mother of this child and all those who loved him. Detroit is an example of what the Dem party can do to a once great city when given a monopoly. There are many more examples, like Newark, Gary, Camden, etc. It looks like Chicago is teetering. All Dem monopolies.

  7. What is it about Pitt Bulls? They are a breed apart. Some of us dogs often wonder about them. God put dogs on Earth to give people guidance. Yet humans guide this breed around and ask them to attack things– teach them to be mean. One has to inquire as to the mental aspects of all humans who own or walk Pitt Bulls. They are mentally ill– the humans. So if you see a human with a Pitt Bull lock the human up and send the Pitt Bull to a Muslim pirate territory. But do not “euthenize” a dog or any creature. The word means “kill”.

  8. There are graduated severities of murder, manslaughter, negligence, and lesser descriptions of culpability. This animal’s contribution to the death of the 4 year old lies between manslaughter and murder. The manslaughter charge is a slam dunk and if convicted he could do 20 years hard time. The murder charge would need the paint job of his character and the details that lead up to this atrocious incident. In order to make a statement to society regarding this sort of ego extension as perverse as it is, the murder charge is appropriate and the animal should be convicted and put away as a representation of that aspect of the law which is the most important, to deter others from doing the same thing. The cocky swagger of a vicious dog owner might just be mitigated if this was the potential result. These animals that own animals should also be addressed all the way down the line. If a person’s dog bites someone then the dog should be euthanized and the owner nailed in some other appropriate way, perhaps a fine in the tens of thousands or jail, prohibition from owning animals for sure.

    This is no different than the animal who leaves his gun in the couch for a 4 year old to find and kill themselves or others. Negligence should have a price in these cases. This guy needs to be made a poster child, at least twenty years hard time with regular newspaper articles about how his appeals were denied and how he found jesus, etc.

  9. What Michael Sweig said! It would be hard to hit the pit bulls and miss the kid.

  10. And really, why were these dogs still around after biting the daughter? Let me guess, the city is short on resources and needs a budget increase, right?

  11. “The notion that anyone has enough skills with a handgun to shoot and kill four pit bulls in full attack mode while leaving a child uninjured is absurd.”

    Skills to shoot or skills to watch, skills to shoot or skills to watch. Hmmm, that is a tough call there phillyT but I’m going to go with SHOOT!!!

  12. The notion that anyone has enough skills with a handgun to shoot and kill four pit bulls in full attack mode while leaving a child uninjured is absurd. It would be laughable were this not such a freaking tragedy.

  13. What Michael Sweig said!

    Prediction: He will plea down to manslaugter, pay restitution of $50k (he doesn’t look like the type who will ever pay that amount back, but I could be wrong), and serve 36 months in jail with 3 years probation, and be a proud pit bull owner once again. ☹️

  14. If the dogs were a “constant menace” in the neighborhood and had previously attacked another child, I’m wondering why the city’s animal control department didn’t remove them. I understand that Detroit has limited funds, but restraining four marauding pit bulls would seem to be a very basic public safety issue.

  15. By all means consider whether the the mother should have had her Chauffeur drive her to the school. With all due respect to pit bull owners, they do seem to be involved in many arrack so that lead to the deaths of small children. Of course it is clearly a case of a bad owner but I’m am learning toward the banning of this breed from urban settings.

    My sincere sympathies to the mother. What a horrible tragedy.

  16. As a parent, I mourn for the child and family. But, I wonder if these dogs had previously attacked the daughter, why the dogs were not yet euthanized. I also cannot help wonder why the mother would not choose an alternative route with this known risk. I am not defending these dogs or excusing the owner. But something is odd here. Finally, as the owner of two, I must add that many other breeds are documented to have bitten people more than pit bulls. That said, any person, like this owner, who owns four dogs who can move freely enough in a pack to attack passersby should be held to the highest legal standard. Sadly, too many people will read this article as one about pit bulls, and not about an reckless owner.

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