Cass Prosecutor Victor Fitz said the jury found Leddrew Renard Smith Jr., 44, guilty of allowing the dog to maim the woman. Fitz pointed to Cass Animal Control Officer Ronald Butts’ testimony that the woman’s injuries were the among the most severe he had seen in his 19 years with Animal Control.
Injuries suffered by the 20-year-old Cassopolis woman included the loss of portions of her lips and face, the prosecutor said.
"Allowing this dog access to the general public was like having a live bear trap in the backyard,’’ he said. "In this case, the adult was able to pull away from the attack. Imagine if this had been a toddler in the jaws of the pit bull. Dog owners have a responsibility to protect children and adults from aggressive canines.’’
Fitz said the incident occurred on Oct. 17 when the woman visited Smith’s residence and later returned via a backyard shortcut. She testified she accidentally wandered into the area where Smith’s pit bull was chained and the dog leaped at her, biting her face and arm.
Smith drove her to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and transferred to Borgess Hospital in Kalamazoo. There, she was treated by a plastic surgeon.
In an earlier court proceeding, the 4th District Court found the dog to be dangerous and ordered it euthanized.
Fitz said Section 11.3 of the Cass County Dog Law Enforcement Ordinance holds dog owners responsible if "a dog ... has attacked or bitten a person or animal.’’ Violation is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
Sentencing before 4th District Court Judge Stacey Rentfrow is set for April 15.