Testimony continues in dog-mauling death

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

LINCOLN PARK — Additional testimony was heard Friday related to the July 2010 dog-mauling death of a 5-year-old boy, with additional dates expected this month and next prior to the matter going to trial.

Debralynn C. Holland, 29, and Earl Dwayne Adkins, 35, face charges including manslaughter for the death of Holland’s son, Kyle, who was mauled by a dog belonging to Adkins. The 90-pound dog that attacked the child was believed to be a wolf-hybrid dog, illegal to own in Michigan.

The dog was described Friday as, “a baby wolf,” by Holland’s other son, a 9-year-old who testified on the stand. The boy said that the “baby wolf” description was how the dog’s owner, Adkins, described the animal.

The 9-year-old told prosecutors that the dog “nibbled” him on three separate occasions. He and his mother moved in with Adkins, living in the 1500 block of Empire Street, shortly before the incident. Prosecutors claim that Holland and Adkins left the disabled Kyle unattended in a room with the dog.

Previous testimony given during a September preliminary exam included reports from the Wayne County Medical Examiner, who stated that Kyle suffered more than 80 puncture wounds and 250 abrasions during the attack, and that portions of his body had been chewed off.

Friday, the 9-year-old testified that the dog had “nibbled” both boys. Holland faces charges of involuntary manslaughter, a 15-year felony, and second-degree child abuse, a four-year felony. Adkins is charged with owning a dangerous animal causing death, a 15-year felony.

Defense attorneys took exception to the 9-year-old’s use of the phrase “baby wolf,” claiming it was prejudicial to the charges. Objections were overruled by 25th District Court Judge David Zelenak.