Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville announced today that no charges will be filed against the father of the one-month-old infant killed by a dog attack in Amity.
“After conferring with Knox County Sheriff’s detectives and Knox County Coroner Jennifer Ogle, I have determined that the facts of this tragic event do not support criminal charges,” McConville said. “Based upon the autopsy results, there is no reason to believe that this child’s death was caused by anything other than a dog attack, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that the boy’s father intended for his child to come to any harm.”
McConville stated that the case was closely reviewed on the basis of child endangerment, but the evidence does not support a charge.
“Under Ohio law, a person must act recklessly to be found guilty of child endangerment,” he said.
Ohio law defined recklessness as acting with heedless indifference to the consequences and disregarding substantial and unjustifiable risk. (R.C. 2901.22(C)). For child endangerment to have occurred in this case, the boy’s father would have had to know that the dogs had a history of biting or aggressive behavior that posed a substantial risk to his child’s safety. Interviews of family and neighbors conducted by the Knox County Sheriff’s Office did not indicate a history of biting or aggressiveness with the dogs. In addition, there had been no reports to the Dog Warden of biting by the dogs.
“While these events are horrifying, and perhaps preventable, they do not rise to the level of criminal conduct,” McConville concluded.