Owner of Dogs That Mauled 4-Year-Old Detroit Boy to Death Is Convicted of Manslaughter

Xavier Strickland
Family photo via the Detroit Free Press

Geneke Lyons, the owner of a pack of dogs that fatally mauled a Detroit 4-year-old boy in December after dragging the child, Xavier Strickland, from his mother was convicted of involuntary manslaughter Friday, the Detroit Free Press reports.

The deadly attack was captured on surveillance video, which jurors viewed during a trial that included testimony from police, neighbors and the child's grief-stricken mother, Lucille Strickland, the Free Press notes.


Lyons, 42, was also convicted of possessing dangerous animals causing death. He had faced a second-degree murder charge, but that was dismissed by Wayne County, Mich., Circuit Judge James Callahan before the jury deliberated the case.

"In the court’s opinion, the defendant was overcharged … to begin with," Callahan had said after the verdict. He had allowed Lyons to be released on bond because he believed that his crime did not pose a threat to the community. He did, however, forbid Lyons from coming into contact with dogs.

Sentencing for Lyons has been scheduled for June 30, with the manslaughter charge carrying up to 15 years in prison and a fine of $7,500. Lyons is also facing a civil lawsuit for damages that was filed on behalf of the child's family.

“That will never leave my eyes,” Lucille Strickland said in the aftermath of the attack. “Never leave my mind.”


Xavier suffered more than 90 puncture wounds during the fatal attack.

Read more at the Detroit Free Press.

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