Dog Bite | Animal Behavior Expert Witness For Attorneys

Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D. CDBC
Los Angeles, California

“Bringing the science of animal behavior to attorneys”

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Dog Bite Mauling in South Carolina

The South Carolina Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of Bentley Collins in the dog bite mauling death of a 10-year-old Matthew Davis. In February South Carolina2012, Collins was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison. He was convicted for involuntary manslaughter and owning dangerous, unconfined animals.

The boy was found by his mother. He was attacked by six dogs in the driveway of Collins’ home in November, 2006 in Dillon County, North Carolina. The appellate court ruled that the trial judge erred by allowing the jury to view photographs of the child’s partially eaten body. The court ruled that the trial court abused its discretion by allowing the photographs into evidence.

The presentation of these photos reminds me of the inflammatory photographs shown to the jury in the San Francisco dog mauling case. In this case, the photos were allowed into evidence. On the first day of trial, prosecution displayed photos of Diane Whipple’s mauled body. The body was laying on a gurney in the morgue shortly after the attack.  Understandably, some jury members turned their heads when the pictures were shown.

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