Woman’s ‘gruesome’ dog attack described in court

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A man who owned the dogs that brutally attacked an Upstate woman last month, critically injuring her and forcing the amputation of her arms, appeared in court Thursday. Justin Minor is charged with three counts of owning dangerous animals attacking a human, a rabies violation and Allowing dangerous animals off his property unrestrained in the March 21 attack on Kyleen Waltman. Investigators said three dogs mauled Waltman as she walked along Ball Road in Honea Path. Waltman suffered critical injuries, including having both arms amputated up to the shoulder, her colon removed and has undergone numerous skin grafts, all of which her family is documenting on a GoFundMe page. During the preliminary hearing, Minor sat with his attorney, Charles Gross, often with his elbows on a table and his hands clasped, covering his mouth. The only person to testify during the hearing was Abbeville County sheriff’s investigator Lt. Jeffrey Hines, who described what deputies saw at the scene the day Waltman wa s found in a ditch, severely mauled. Hines said the man who called 911 about the attack was riding his tractor up to his cows and saw Waltman being attacked by three dogs. He said the witness got off his tractor and tried to help Waltman and one of the dogs tried to attack him, so he fired a shot with his pistol to scare off the dogs. The dogs ran away after that, Hines said. PREVIOUS COVERAGE:Woman mauled by pack of dogs to undergo more surgery, family saysWoman mauled by dogs in South Carolina has successful surgery, family says Owner of dogs who deputies say attacked South Carolina woman appears in court; bond setHines said the witness did not see how the attack started. Minor’s attorney Charles Gross asked Hines if they spoke with any witnesses who saw the beginning of the attack, to which he answered no. Hines said deputies arrived at the scene and saw Waltman “badly bitten” on the side of the dirt road across from Minor’s home. He said emergency medical service workers later arrived an d treated Waltman at the scene before taking her by ambulance to the hospital. Hines said he went to the hospital a couple of days after the incident after he said Waltman had several surgeries. He took pictures in the intensive care unit and described both her arms were “amputated off completely all the way up to the shoulders,” he said. “She had bites from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet, including her whole entire body. It was one of the more gruesome animal attacks that I’ve ever seen in my career.”Hines said when Minor arrived, he told deputies he was at work when he got a call about the attack. Minor told deputies they could take the dogs and put them down, Hines said. Animal control officers said previously they took a total of 11 dogs from Minor’s property. According to Hines, Minor told deputies he wanted to put the dogs down after they killed his chickens, but his wife was against it. Minor told deputies that his wife thought they could be trained. Minor told deputi es that “once a dog tastes blood, that’s it,” Hines said in court. Hines testified that the witness described the dogs that attacked Waltman to Minor, who retrieved the dogs and signed them over to Abbeville County Animal Control. Hines said dispatchers told deputies a man had reported a previous attack involving Minor’s dogs on Christmas Eve 2021, when a person was bitten, but animal control officials said no animals were taken in that incident and the sheriff’s office was not notified. He said the person who reported the incident said he was attacked by two pit bull mix dogs. Hines said none of Minor’s dogs were vaccinated for rabies “or anything else.” Hines testified that a neighbor told deputies he felt unsafe to go outside of his home because Minor’s dogs would come near him and growl at him. He said he had to carry a stick whenever he did have to go outside, Hines said. The neighbor said he was told by Minor a few days before the attack, “those dogs will bite anyone.” Hines describes Minor’s property, saying there was no fencing around the property. He says there were some kennels outside with some dogs inside, but he says others were roaming around the property. Hines said both responding deputies were equipped with body cameras but said the first deputy to arrive did not immediately start the camera. Hines said he didn’t know why, but offered that it could have been the stress of the situation, “seeing this lady viciously attacked,” or because the deputy’s first priority was to give aid to Waltman .Hines described to the court what he later saw on the body camera footage that he reviewed. The video showed Waltman being carried on a stretcher with “her whole tricep removed and nothing but the bone on her left arm.”Gross asked the court for the charges to be dismissed, saying testimony did not satisfy all the requirements for probable cause. “There’s been no connection made as far as whether these were the same dogs from the Christmas Eve incident,” Gross said. Gross a lso said no testimony presented in court offered evidence that the attack was unprovoked.”While this is a tragic situation, it does not necessarily mean that it’s a criminal situation, and I would just ask everybody to remember the presumption of innocence,” Gross said .In the end, the judge ruled there was enough probable cause to move forward with the charges. Waltman’s mother and sister were in the courtroom, emotional at times during the hearing. Her family declined to comment following the hearing. The next court date has not yet been set.

A man who owned the dogs that brutally attacked an Upstate woman last month, critically injuring her and forcing the amputation of her arms, appeared in court Thursday.

Justin Minor is charged with three counts of owning dangerous animals attacking a human, a rabies violation and allowing dangerous animals off his property unrestrained in the March 21 attack on Kyleen Waltman.

Kyleen Waltman, attacked, mauled by pack of dogs in Honea Path,  Abbeville County

Investigators said three dogs mauled Waltman as she walked along Ball Road in Honea Path.

Waltman suffered critical injuries, including having both arms amputated up to the shoulder, her colon removed and has undergone numerous skin grafts, all of which her family is documenting on a GoFundMe page.

During the preliminary hearing, Minor sat with his attorney, Charles Gross, often with his elbows on a table and his hands clasped, covering his mouth.

justin minor court hearing on April 28, 2022

The only person to testify during the hearing was Abbeville County sheriff’s investigator Lt. Jeffrey Hines, who described what deputies saw at the scene the day Waltman was found in a ditch, severely mauled.

Hines said the man who called 911 about the attack was riding his tractor up to his cows and saw Waltman being attacked by three dogs. He said the witness got off his tractor and tried to help Waltman and one of the dogs tried to attack him, so he fired a shot with his pistol to scare off the dogs. The dogs ran away after that, Hines said.

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Hines said the witness did not see how the attack started.

Minor’s attorney Charles Gross asked Hines if they spoke with any witnesses who saw the beginning of the attack, to which he answered no.

Hines said deputies arrived at the scene and saw Waltman “badly bitten” on the side of the dirt road across from Minor’s home.

Lt. Jeffrrey Hines, Abbeville County Sheriff's Office

He said emergency medical service workers later arrived and treated Waltman at the scene before taking her by ambulance to the hospital.

Hines said he went to the hospital a couple of days after the incident after he said Waltman had several surgeries.

He took pictures in the intensive care unit and described both her arms were “amputated off completely all the way up to the shoulders,” he said. “She had bites from the top of her head to the bottom of her feet, including her whole entire body. It was one of the more gruesome animal attacks that I’ve ever seen in my career.”

Hines said when Minor arrived, he told deputies he was at work when he got a call about the attack.

Minor told deputies they could take the dogs and put them down, Hines said.

Animal control officers said previously they took a total of 11 dogs from Minor’s property.

According to Hines, Minor told deputies he wanted to put the dogs down after they killed his chickens, but his wife was against it. Minor told deputies that his wife thought they could be trained.

Minor told deputies that “once a dog tastes blood, that’s it,” Hines said in court.

Hines testified that the witness described the dogs that attacked Waltman to Minor, who retrieved the dogs and signed them over to Abbeville County Animal Control.

Hines said dispatchers told deputies a man had reported a previous attack involving Minor’s dogs on Christmas Eve 2021, when a person was bitten, but animal control officials said no animals were taken in that incident and the sheriff’s office was not notified.

He said the person who reported the incident said he was attacked by two pit bull mix dogs.

Hines said none of Minor’s dogs were vaccinated for rabies “or anything else.”

Hines testified that a neighbor told deputies he felt unsafe to go outside of his home because Minor’s dogs would come near him and growl at him. He said he had to carry a stick whenever he did have to go outside, Hines said. The neighbor said he was told by Minor a few days before the attack, “those dogs will bite anyone.”

Hines describes Minor’s property, saying there was no fencing around the property. He says there were some kennels outside with some dogs inside, but he says others were roaming around the property.

Hines said both responding deputies were equipped with body cameras but said the first deputy to arrive did not immediately start the camera. Hines said he didn’t know why, but offered that it could have been the stress of the situation, “seeing this lady viciously attacked,” or because the deputy’s first priority was to give aid to Waltman.

Hines described to the court what he later saw on the body camera footage that he reviewed. The video showed Waltman being carried on a stretcher with “her whole tricep removed and nothing but the bone on her left arm.”

Gross asked the court for the charges to be dismissed, saying testimony did not satisfy all the requirements for probable cause.

“There’s been no connection made as far as whether these were the same dogs from the Christmas Eve incident,” Gross said.

Gross also said no testimony presented in court offered evidence that the attack was unprovoked.

“While this is a tragic situation, it does not necessarily mean that it’s a criminal situation, and I would just ask everybody to remember the presumption of innocence,” Gross said.

In the end, the judge ruled there was enough probable cause to move forward with the charges.

Waltman’s mother and sister were in the courtroom, emotional at times during the hearing. Her family declined to comment following the hearing.

The next court date has not yet been set.



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