Jurors in the trial of Twyann Vaughn on Jan. 4 heard graphic accounts of how two of Vaughn’s pit bulls attacked a young girl.
“They chased her, they toppled her and they dragged her down the street as they began to maul her,” said Solicitor General Sherry Boston of the attack on Erin Ingram, a Rock Chapel Elementary School student.
Vaughn is facing two counts each of reckless conduct, violation of the vicious dog act and violation of the rabies ordinance for the March 2010 incident. If convicted, Vaughn could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
Lisa Vinings, who has a rental home in the victim’s neighborhood, testified that she called 911 when she saw the girl being attacked by the dogs.
On the 911 recording, played in court, Vinings could be heard saying, “Two pit bulls are eating a child in the middle of the street.”
“She’s just laying there,” Vinings told the 911 operator. “She’s bleeding all over the place. Oh, my God. They have chewed her up. I’ve never seen nothing like this in my life.”
Vinings told the jury that she tried to run the dogs over with her vehicle.
“Every time I tried to hit them, they just shifted their bodies,” Vinings said. “They just wouldn’t go. I was afraid to get out of my car.”
During the 911 call, the victim could be heard screaming, “Please help me. They’re hurting me. Just run them over.”
The dogs continued mauling the girl until a DeKalb County Police officer arrived, Boston said. The officer jumped out of his car, ran at full force and hit the dog with his club, but the dog did not flinch. The officer shot the dog, firing his gun for the first time in his career while on duty.
The other dog, which ran away, was later located and euthanized.
Boston said Vaughn, a renter who was in the process of moving, did not lock the dogs in her garage during the move. Instead, she put the dogs in a pet kennel that was broken with screws and bolts missing.
Vaughn knew the kennel would not hold the dogs, Boston said.
“The dogs were left unattended and unfenced in her front yard,” Boston said.
During the trial witnesses said the two dogs had a history of chasing and scaring neighborhood children, Boston said.
“Neighbors were fearful that the worst would happen, and it did,” Boston said.
During the attack, the girl received “bites to the bone on both arms and drag marks on her face,” Boston said. “In order to save her life they had to amputate one of her arms.”
Ingram also suffered severe injuries to her other arm, including scarring and muscle atrophy that has caused some deformation, Boston said.
“It wasn’t a happy ending for Erin,” Boston said.
The trial continues Jan. 5 and is expected to last until at least Jan. 6.