Owner Of Dogs That Mauled 9-Year-Old Girl In Detroit Will Stand Trial

Pierre Cleveland is facing multiple charges, including second degree murder.

WWJ News
October 02, 2019 - 6:33 pm
Pierre Cleveland

Pierre Cleveland (Photo: Detroit Police Department)

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DETROIT (WWJ) -- The owner of the three pit bulls that mauled a girl to death in Southwest Detroit back in August will stand trial on murder and other charges.

Judge Michael Wagner ruled Wednesday in 36th District Court there is enough evidence for Pierre Cleveland to be bound over for trial.

Cleveland, 33, has been charged with second degree murder, having a dangerous animal causing death and involuntary manslaughter, after his three dogs attacked nine-year-old Emma Hernandez on Aug. 19.

Hernandez was riding her bike with her 13-year-old brother in an alley in the area of Central Avenue and Smart Street when the dogs allegedly got loose from Cleveland's yard and attacked her. Other neighbors in the area attempted to help the girl, but she died from the brutal attack. It is alleged that the fence that lined the yard was damaged and not secure, and that a garage side door was open, leading to the alley where Hernandez was attacked. 

In a statement issued in late August, the girl's mother, Jennifer Hernandez, said she does not want a specific breed ban on pit bulls or any breed, but wants more accountability. 

"My Emma's story has gotten a lot of attention and I believe it needs to be a 'wake up call' for everyone around the world. I am not necessarily in agreement with a pitbull ban or ban of any breed. Instead I wish there to be stricter laws and consequence for dog owners, because in reality this could have happened with another breed. I wish for owners to better educated and conscious of the danger negligence causes," the statement said.

Cleveland was bound over to 3rd Circuit Court for trial on all charges against him. He's scheduled to be arraigned in 3rd Circuit Court on Oct. 16.