Father Found Not Guilty For Death Of Son – Lessons For the Prosecution

Zachary King Sr. has been found not guilty of second degree manslaughter charges in the death of his 7-year-old son, Zachary Jr. Despite the fact that the dog previously bit people in seven different incidents, the judge (there was no jury) concluded that there was reasonable doubt that Mr. King knew his dog was capable of inflicting serious injury. In one of those prior incidents, the victim was the boy himself, who survived it only to be killed later.

While I was not present for the trial, I nevertheless must question the court’s verdict. I have made a study of criminal prosecutions of parents for the canine-inflicted deaths of their children, and have seen that it is almost impossible to get a conviction. The court or jury usually thinks about how sorry the defendant is, and then concludes that he could not have anticipated the mauling. This results in a not guilty verdict almost all the time. But it is not fair to the kids who die this way. The fact remains that the parents ignored the clear signs that their dogs could kill. Doing so should result in punishment.