by janice limon
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Reading: Justin minor dogs
Abbeville County, South Carolina (WYFF) – A man who owned the dogs that brutally attacked an upstate woman last month, seriously injuring her and forcing the amputation of her arms, has appeared before the court on Thursday.
justin minor is charged with three counts of possessing dangerous animals, assaulting a human being, a rabies violation, and allowing dangerous animals off his property without restraint in the March 21 attack on kyleen waltman.
Investigators said Waltman was mauled by three dogs while he was walking down Ball Road on Honea Path.
waltman suffered serious injuries, including amputation of both arms up to the shoulder, removal of his colon, and numerous skin grafts, all of which his family is documenting on a gofundme page.
During the preliminary hearing, the minor sat with his attorney, Charles Gross, often with his elbows on a table and his hands together, covering his mouth.
The only person who testified during the hearing was Abbeville County Sheriff’s Investigator, Ltd. Jeffrey Hines, who described what officers saw on the scene the day Waltman was found in a ditch, severely mutilated.
hines said the man who called 911 about the attack was driving his tractor toward his cows and saw waltman being attacked by three dogs. he said the witness got off his tractor and tried to help waltman and one of the dogs tried to attack him so he fired his gun to scare the dogs. The dogs ran away after that, Hines said.
hines said the witness did not see how the attack started.
The boy’s attorney, Charles Gross, asked Hines if they spoke to any witnesses who saw the beginning of the attack, to which he said no.
hines said deputies arrived at the scene and saw waltman “badly bitten” on the side of the dirt road in front of the boy’s home.
He said EMS workers later arrived and treated Waltman at the scene before taking her by ambulance to the hospital.
hines said he went to the hospital a couple of days after the incident after he said waltman had had multiple surgeries.
Took photographs in the intensive care unit and described both arms as being “completely amputated down to the shoulders,” he said. “She had bite marks from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet, including her entire body. It was one of the scariest animal attacks I’ve seen in my career.”
hines said when the boy arrived, he told deputies he was at work when he got a call about the attack.
Minor told officers they could take the dogs and put them down, Hines said.
Animal control officials previously said a total of 11 dogs were taken from the boy’s property.
According to Hines, the minor told the agents that he wanted to put the dogs down after they killed his chickens, but his wife objected. The minor told the agents that his wife thought they could be trained.
Minor told officers that “once a dog tastes blood, that’s it,” Hines said in court.
hines testified that the witness described the dogs that attacked waltman to minor, who recovered them and turned them over to abbeville county animal control.
hines said dispatchers told officers a man had reported a previous attack involving a minor’s dogs on Christmas Eve 2021, when one person was bitten, but law enforcement officials animals said no animals were taken in that incident and the sheriff’s office was not notified.
said the person who reported the incident said he was attacked by two pit bull mix dogs.
hines said none of the children’s dogs were vaccinated against rabies “or anything else.”
hines testified that a neighbor told officers he felt unsafe leaving his house because the boy’s dogs were coming up to him and growling at him. he said he had to carry a stick every time he had to go out, hines said. the neighbor said a minor told him a few days before the attack, “those dogs will bite anyone.”
hines describes the minor’s property and says that there were no fences around the property. he says there were some kennels outside with some dogs inside, but he says others were roaming the property.
hines said both responding officers were equipped with body cameras, but said the first arriving officer did not immediately turn on the camera. Hines said he didn’t know why, but said it could have been because of the stress of the situation, “seeing this lady brutally attacked,” or because the agent’s first priority was helping Waltman.
hines described to the court what he later saw on the body camera footage he reviewed. The video showed Waltman being transported on a stretcher with “his entire triceps removed and nothing but the bone in his left arm.”
groso asked the court to dismiss the charges, saying the testimony did not meet all the requirements for probable cause.
“No connection has been made as to whether these were the same dogs from the Christmas Eve incident,” Brute said.
gross also said that no testimony presented in court offered evidence that the attack was unprovoked.
“While this is a tragic situation, it doesn’t necessarily make it a criminal situation, and I just ask everyone to remember the presumption of innocence,” Gross said.
In the end, the judge ruled that there was sufficient probable cause to move forward with the charges.
waltman’s mother and sister were in the courtroom, sometimes emotional during the hearing. His family declined to comment after the hearing.
The date of the next court has not yet been set.
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