Kimiko Hardy cried softly during portions of her involuntary manslaughter trial Tuesday when autopsy photos showed the injuries her dog inflicted when it killed her step-grandson in July 2014.
Hardy, 38, of Dayton, faces six felony charges in the death of Johnathan Quarles Jr., who was 7 months old when he died July 20, 2014 of multiple blunt force trauma. Hardy faces a maximum of 11 years in prison.
Proseutors said during opening statements that Busa, an American Staffordshire terrier also referred to as a pit bull, crushed the baby’s skull and removed part of his scalp in Hardy’s residence at 2219 Riverside Drive in Dayton.
“Sadly, this defendant had warning that this dog was aggressive, which is why we are here today,” Montgomery County assistant prosecutor Karen Groseth told jurors. “This dog’s actions on July 20, 2104 were foreseeable.”
Groseth recounted how the animal had lunged at a postal carrier, who testified that he was able to get his mailbag in between himself and the dog and that he fell as he ran away. Prosecutors also said the dog bit a Beagle who was on a walk with its owner, requiring that dog to get staples for its injuries.
Finally, Groseth said how Hardy was required to attend a 150-minute training class put on by the Animal Resource Center for first-time offenders. ARC officials testified that the course covered neutering, reasons to relinquish a dog, bite prevention, proper training, responsibilities of pet owners, how to confine a dog and laws about failure to control a dog. Hardy also was cited for not having a license for the dog.
“The evidence will show that this was preventable,” Groseth said. “The evidence will show that this defendant had means to control this dog and yet chose not to.”
Defense attorney Angelina Jackson told jurors that Busa had never bit a person in nearly five years of being a family pet who slept in bed with children.
“This case involves a tragedy, but the occurrence of a tragedy does not mean that a crime has been committed,” Jackson said. “An unforeseeable tragedy is the reason we are all here today.”
Jackson described how things were fine the night before the attack before Hardy heard Busa get past a baby gate and into the room where Johnathan was in his car seat on the floor.
“She picked Johnathan up out of his car seat when, all of a sudden, Busa began to jump and bite at the two off them,” said Jackson, who said Hardy tried to punch the dog and grab him by the collar before the dog bit the infant’s head and ripped Hardy’s robe. “She tried everything in her power to stop Busa, but sadly she was unable to do so.”
After the boy’s death, Hardy’s dog was seized by ARC and euthanized in September 2014.
The trial is schedule to take all week in the courtroom of Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Mary Wiseman.