Man charged in girl's pit bull death

Jan. 27, 2011 at 9:01 PM

WAXHAW, N.C., Jan. 27 (UPI) -- A North Carolina man whose pit bulls killed a 5-year-old neighbor has been charged with involuntary manslaughter, authorities said.

Michael Brandon Gordon, 23, of Waxhaw was arrested Wednesday and has been released on $20,000 bail, The Charlotte Observer reported.

Makayla Woodard was attacked in her own yard two weeks ago, Waxhaw police said. Her great-grandmother, Nancy Presson, who tried to protect the girl from the dogs, was also bitten.

Police who responded to the house shot one of the dogs at the scene and officers shot the other dog about 2 hours later when it was found wandering the neighborhood.

Gordon was not home at the time of the attack, and investigators have not said what the charge is based on, the newspaper reported. Neighbors told the Observer the dogs sometimes roamed freely, although they had not previously behaved aggressively.

One neighbor, Cyndi McCoy, said she sometimes thought the dogs were not properly fed and were abused.

"You put any dog under those circumstances, and they'll snap," she told the Observer after the attack.

Gordon has a lengthy arrest and conviction record, the Observer said. He was released from prison in May 2010 after serving eight months for breaking and entering.

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