by Andrew Cauthen
A Lithonia woman convicted after her dogs attacked an 8-year-old girl in 2010 wants to get out of jail after four months.
An attorney for Twyann Vaughn said her client wants to be released because of “some things that have come up in her life.”
Vaughn’s son will be graduating from high school this month “without her there to support him,” said attorney Jamila Montaque, during a hearing in state court May 9.
Vaughn is also being sued for $15 million by the victim’s family, Montaque said.
“She wouldn’t be able to pay that even if she were working,” Montaque said. “She wants to do the right thing. She understands that she will probably have to pay [the victim] something. She simply can’t do that while in custody.”
Vaughn was sentenced to 16 months in jail, three years of probation, 240 hours of community service and restitution. Vaughn has been ordered to become an advocate for better animal control after release.
Vaughn was convicted on two counts each of reckless conduct, violation of the vicious dog act and violation of the rabies ordinance.
Witnesses said during her trial that Vaughn’s pit bulls attacked Erin Ingram, a Rock Chapel Elementary School student while playing in her neighborhood March 2010. The girl lost part of an arm as a result of the attack.
According to a police report, several witnesses unsuccessfully tried to pull the dogs away from the girl, before a DeKalb County Police officer arrived. The officer shot one of the dogs in the head when it jumped toward the officer. The other dog, which ran away, was later found and euthanized.
During the four-day trial, DeKalb Solicitor General Sherry Boston portrayed Vaughn as a negligent dog owner.
Boston said Vaughn’s sentence was “fair and lenient.”
It was “more than fair given the circumstances that [the victim] will have to face for the rest of her life,” Boston said.
State Court Judge Dax Lopez is considering the request.