On the fateful day that Cash Carson, 10, walked up the street to get to his "fort", Ciavetta decided to take a nap, leave the dogs out front, but not check to see whether the front gate was closed. It was not. The dogs chased Cash and his friend, and killed Cash.
Ciavetta was not convicted of second degree murder because three members of the jury felt that the charges were too harsh, in view of the fact that the dogs had never been trained, or known, to fight, attack or kill.
CALIFORNIA -- A dog caretaker has been sentenced to four years in prison for leaving a 100-pound mixed-breed pit bull unsupervised, allowing it to fatally maul a 10-year-old boy.
Judge Thomas Glasser said Friday that James Chiavetta, 54, has shown no remorse for his role in the April 2000 death of Cash Carson.
Chiavetta was convicted in May of involuntary manslaughter.
Cash and playmate Danny Gonzales encountered 100-pound Bear and Louise, a smaller mixed-breed pit bull, while walking toward the Newberry Springs property where Chiavetta was the caretaker for absentee owners.
The dogs pounced on 66-pound Cash. Louise grabbed him first, but Bear inflicted the fatal neck wounds. Both dogs were involved in the mauling and death of the young boy.
Defense attorney Robert O'Connor argued that his client, who has no prior criminal record, deserves probation, saying no good purpose will be served by a prison term. However, the judge felt Chiavetta needed to spend some time in prison for the horrific attack and apparent lack of remorse.
(Los Angeles Times - September 30, 2001)
- California: Cash Carson, 10, mauled to death by neighbor's two Pit Bulls
- California: James Chiavetta charged with Murder after two Pit Bulls he was taking care of were turned loose and mauled a child to death
- California: Barstow trial opens in boy's death; Pit bulls fatally mauled Cash Carson, 10. The dogs' caretaker James Chiavetta is charged with second-degree murder.
- California: James Chiavetta given maximum sentence after his two Pit Bulls mauled a ten-year-old boy to death