Sunday, April 8, 2018

Missouri: Babysitter Erica Jordan, 33, knew dog in deadly mauling was aggressive with children, say court documents

MISSOURI -- A 33-year-old Cape Girardeau woman has been charged with second-degree involuntary manslaughter after her brother’s Pit Bull / Labrador / Malamute mix fatally attacked a 13-month-old girl she was babysitting last month.

Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Limbaugh announced the charge Friday against Erica N. Jordan of 46 N. Hanover St. The charge alleges “criminal negligence.”

Jordan was arrested and posted a $5,000 surety bond. As a condition of her release on bond, Judge Benjamin Lewis barred Jordan from caring for any children in her home other than her biological children, Limbaugh said in a news release.

“These charges come after a careful review of the evidence, an opportunity to speak with the victim’s family and follow-up investigations with witnesses,” the release stated.

The girl, Loxli Chavez, was taken to a hospital where she later died from “severe injuries,” according to a probable-cause statement.

The attack occurred March 9 at Jordan’s home.

In an interview with police, Jordan said the dog, named Smokey, weighed between 30 and 40 pounds. She said she was keeping the dog temporarily for her brother, according to the probable-cause statement from police Sgt. Darren Estes.

Jordan said she began babysitting Loxli and Loxli’s 5-year-old sister, Juniper, on March 5, Estes wrote. Jordan said Loxli’s parents knew about the dog, according to the statement.

Estes wrote “Jordan stated she frequently lets the dog loose, but sometimes placed the dog into her son’s room because the dog is ‘not good with kids.’”

She recalled the dog had “attacked” her son, biting him in the head about a year ago.

Jordan said the dog had since been neutered and “she thought the dog had ‘calmed down,’” Estes wrote.

Jordan said Smokey was drinking water from a dog bowl within a few feet of Loxli just before the attack. She said she suddenly “heard screaming and crying” and saw “blood everywhere, ”according to the probable-cause statement.

She said in the statement she tried to pull the dog away, but “he was so aggressive” and “just kept going for the baby.”

Jordan said she finally pulled Smokey off the girl and secured him in a closed bedroom. She then called 911.

Tia Bailey, the victim’s mother, told police it was never disclosed to her before the attack Smokey previously attacked Jordan’s child. Bailey said Jordan had reassured her the dog would not pose a risk to her children, according to the statement.

If convicted, Jordan faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison, the prosecutor said.

Police said after the attack the dog was impounded and would be euthanized.

(Southeast Missourian - April 7, 2018)