Dog that killed Ohio woman will be euthanized

Published: Tuesday, August 05, 2014 @ 3:08 AM
Updated: Thursday, August 07, 2014 @ 7:06 AM

Fatal pit bull attack still being investigated in Butler Co.

Trending on Facebook

More popular and trending stories

UDPATE: Julie Whisman, the woman whose dog attacked and killed her 59-year-old mother on Monday at their Ohio home, has relinquished the dog to the county following the completion of the sheriff's investigation.

“At this time, no charges will be filed. The detectives found no evidence that this dog had been aggressive in the past,” said Lt. Mike Craft of the Butler County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff’s deputies said Cindy Whisman, 59, was dead when they arrived at her ranch-style home in Madison Township about 1:10 p.m. Monday. A 911 call was received at 1:03 p.m. from a neighbor who told dispatchers that she saw a woman being attacked by a dog, according to sheriff’s officials.

>> Read more trending stories

Because the dog, named Polo, killed a person, it is considered unadoptable and will be euthanized, Craft said.

Meg Stephenson, executive director of Animal Friends Humane Society, said that given the scenario, “placement of the dog is not an option."

Julie Whisman told Cox Media Group Ohio on Tuesday the she was undecided about whether she wanted the dog back.

Detectives have taken DNA from the dog, described as a pit bull by the owner, to determine the exact breed of the dog, which the dog wardens believe may be part Preso Canario.

But exactly what caused the dog to attack remains unknown, Craft said. 

This is a breaking news update. Below is the original story from Cox Media Group Ohio.

-------

ORIGINAL STORY: A 59-year-old woman died Monday after being attacked by her daughter’s pit bull in the backyard of her home in Madison Township, Ohio, officials said.

According to the Dayton Daily News, sheriff’s deputies confirmed that Cindy Whisman, 59, was dead when they arrived at her home at about 1:10 p.m. A 911 call was received at 1:03 p.m. from a neighbor who told dispatchers that she had seen a woman being attacked by her dog, according to sheriff’s officials.

In the frantic 911 call recording, a woman can be heard screaming for help and breathlessly trying to tell dispatchers about the attack.

“Hurry! My neighbor’s dog is biting her,” the woman tells the dispatcher between cries for help. “It’s a pit bull; she’s all bloody.”

>> RELATED: Police: Dog attacks, kills baby in Ohio

Kurt Merbs, Butler County’s assistant dog warden supervisor, confirmed the dog is believed to be a pit bull-Presa Canario mix.

According to Butler County records, of the 694 pit bulls registered in the county, none were listed at Whisman’s address.

Cindy Whisman’s daughter, Julie Whisman, told WCPO-TV that her mother was at her home watching her 2-year-old son when she received the call of the attack while at work.

She and family members were “shocked” by what happened, she said. There had been no problems with the dog, who is named Polo, before Monday, she said.

“As far as I know, my neighbor told me she saw her and the dog outside,” said Julie Whisman, who had moved in with her mother just two months ago. “She thought they were playing back and forth like this, then all of a sudden, she saw her on the ground and kept saying, 'Polo, Polo,' because that was the dog’s name, and she was rolling over, so she (the neighbor) called 911 and then she didn’t see her no more.”

>> RELATED: Baby's dog-mauling death in Ohio ruled an accident

Merbs said the red-and-white colored dog had blood on its chest when deputies arrived and was “very aggressive” as attempts were made to remove it from the home. He said it took two people using two pole snares to secure the animal, which is now in the hands of the Butler County Animal Friends Humane Society. A second dog — a black Labrador retriever — was also removed from the home as a safety precaution, Merbs said.

Sgt. Melissa Gerhardt, of the sheriff’s office, said Whisman’s husband was home at the time of the attack, but he told investigators that he did not hear any screams. It is unknown what provoked the dog to attack Whisman, Gerhardt said. Detectives said the woman suffered injuries to her face, neck and body.

Reporters knocked on the doors of the neighbor who called 911, but no one answered. A small, red sign that read “Beware of Dog” could be seen on the Whismans’ front door.

Wayne H. Walker, 79, who lives next door to Whisman, said he was outside doing yard work with headphones on when another neighbor ran up to him screaming about Whisman being attacked by her dog. He said he grabbed his walking stick and immediately ran next door.

“I didn’t think to go get my gun in the house,” Walker said.

When he arrived next door, Walker said Whisman’s 2-year-old grandson was standing in the yard and the dog was “still right there with Cindy, licking her face.” Walker said he knew Whisman “was dead right away” and that it appeared as though she had been bitten multiple times around the face area.

“It looked like it (the dog) took a chunk of her throat out around the jugular,” he said.

At that point, Walker hit the dog across the face with his walking stick and the dog ran away, he said. He immediately grabbed the child and went inside Whisman’s house. The child did not appear to be injured, Walker said.

Walker, who has known Whisman for 40 years, said her husband has health issues and rarely leaves their house.

“It was a terrible thing that happened to her,” he said. “She was a good woman.”

Julie Whisman called her mother her best friend.

“Great sweet, loving lady, would do anything for anybody. She loved her grandson more than you would ever know,” she said.

Detectives roped of the entire backyard for several hours while investigating. Whisman’s body was removed from behind the shed in the yard by an investigator from the Butler County Coroner’s Office about 3 p.m. 

Family members will have the option to get ownership of the dog back, pending a court hearing and an order by a judge, detectives said. If they opt to not keep the dog, it will be euthanized after the investigation is complete, detectives said. Julie Whisman told WCPO she does not want the dog back.

Monday’s dog attack was the fourth serious dog mauling — and third fatality — to happen in southwest Ohio this year. It is the first fatal dog attack in Butler County since 1998, according to sheriff’s officials.

Defense attorney collapses, dies during closing arguments in murder trial

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 10:44 AM

Attorney Collapses And Dies During Closing Arguments In Trial

An Alabama defense attorney is being remembered for her dedication to her clients after she collapsed Thursday while delivering closing arguments in a murder trial. 

Jean Darby, a well-known defense attorney in Lauderdale County, died Saturday at Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital, according to the Times-Daily in Florence. She was 64 years old. 

Darby was in the middle of closing arguments in the trial of Alfonzo Jarmon when witnesses said she appeared to stumble. She caught herself on the jury box, then collapsed, the newspaper said.

WHNT News 19 in Huntsville reported that Darby remarked to jurors moments before her collapse about how tiring the case must have been for them because it had exhausted her as well. 

Law enforcement officers, along with a juror who was a registered nurse, performed CPR until paramedics arrived, the Times-Daily reported. Darby was taken to the hospital, where doctors suspected she may have suffered a brain aneurysm or a stroke. 

Her cause of death was not immediately known. 

>> Read more trending news

Jarmon, 34, was accused of fatally shooting 77-year-old Charles Hugh Perkins on April 29, 2016, in the yard of Perkins’ home. The men lived next door to one another. 

The Times-Daily reported that witnesses testified they saw Jarmon shove the elderly man before grabbing his hand and pulling a gun. Jarmon shot Perkins in the head.

Jurors, who told the trial judge on Friday that they could proceed without Darby, deliberated for about 30 minutes before finding Jarmon guilty of murder, the newspaper said. Lauderdale County Judge Gil Self appointed attorneys to represent Jarmon in Darby’s place. 

Jarmon faces life in prison when he is sentenced in December. 

Colleagues mourned the loss of Darby, who was described as a humble woman who did her best to serve others.

District Judge Carole Medley, who was at the hospital awaiting Darby’s test results before her death, described her as “one of the most well-respected and well-thought-of attorneys in (the Florence) area.”

“She worked extraordinarily hard to be sure anybody she represented had all the rights the law allows,” former prosecutor and Judge Mike Jones told the Times-Daily

Wanted Utah mother captured, arrested after 13-day-old son’s death

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 3:30 PM

Maria Elena Sullivan was arrested on murder, child abuse and child endangerment charges.
Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office
Maria Elena Sullivan was arrested on murder, child abuse and child endangerment charges.(Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office)

A Utah woman wanted in connection with the death of her 13-day-old son was arrested in Atlanta, officials said Monday.

>> Read more trending news

Authorities found Maria Sullivan, 26, of Sandy, Utah, after she made “some concerning statements” to staff members at Northside Hospital-Cherokee, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Sgt. Marianne Kelley did not say what those statements were or why Sullivan was at the hospital. KSTU reported that she was seeking treatment but did not clarify what kind of treatment. 

Hospital staff members notified a sergeant at the hospital about the troublesome statements, and the official learned Sullivan had warrants on suspicion of murder, endangerment of a child and three counts of child abuse. 

Sullivan was discharged from the hospital and arrested just after 4:50 p.m. Sunday, Kelley said.

According KSTU, Sullivan’s son, who was born on Sept. 4 with no known health problems, was pronounced dead Sept. 17 by medical responders. Media reports say the boy suffered broken ribs, bruising and bleeding on the brain.

On the day of the child’s death, Sullivan left the boy in the sole care of her 21-year-old boyfriend, Dylan James Kitzmiller, while she called a friend to discuss her desire to “get away from Kitzmiller's abuse.” That same day, Sullivan said, she found Kitzmiller moving the child’s legs in a rough, awkward way. Later that night, Sullivan heard the child making noises and gasping for air before he stopped breathing, KSTU reported.

Sullivan told police Kitzmiller abused the child and used heroin daily, KUTV reported.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said evidence showed Kitzmiller abused the boy and that Sullivan knew about it.

“There were statements that the child was being handled roughly by the arm and shoulder -- that Kitzmiller would throw the baby up in the air (and) catch him in the air,” Gill said, according to KUTV. “The girlfriend indicated there was a level of abuse going on. She was aware of this abuse. She took no steps to stop this or to take the child to safety.”

Sullivan is being held with no bond at the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center, Kelley said.

Kitzmiller was arrested Saturday on the same charges as Sullivan, according to reports.

Neighbors make sure 95-year-old WWII is comfortable during daily walk

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 3:09 PM

Neighbors Offer Support and Rest For WWII Veteran

Harvey Djerf , a 95-year-old World War II veteran, doesn’t let his age stop him from taking his daily walks.

He takes the sojourns twice a day, all year long, and he’s been doing it for 65 years, Inside Edition reported.

But his neighbors are keeping an eye out for Djerf.

>> Read more trending news

Every so often, a random chair has been left out for Djerf to take a load off when he’s out for his walks.

“People saw me stopping and catching my breath,” Djerf told KARE. “They figured maybe Harvey needs a place to rest.”

Tom and Melanie Heuerman saw Harvey taking a break in other neighbors’ chairs. That’s when they added another one to his route.

The winter doesn’t stop Djerf, either, and his neighbors make sure Djerf can get safely to his seat by shoveling a path to his chairs, KARE reported.

Djerf said his walks keep him going and give him something to do since his wife, 95, suffered a stroke last year and has been living at an assisted living facility, Inside Edition reported.

Argument over shopping cart leads to fight at Walmart

Published: Monday, October 23, 2017 @ 2:55 PM

File photo.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
File photo. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)(Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Video of a shocking fight at a Cordova Walmart has gone viral. Police told FOX13 one woman was sent to a hospital as a result of the brawl.

According to a police report, officers were flagged down by a customer who was complaining that a woman was fighting inside the business.

When officers arrived on the scene, they found another woman on the ground with bruises. Police said she was crying.

>> Read more trending news

A Walmart manager told police he was stacking items when he heard a loud commotion and walked toward it. The manager said he then noticed two women fighting on the ground, and he tried to separate them.

Another witness told police that one woman asked another woman about a rolling cart and she replied, “Maybe other customers are using them if nothing is over there.”

Officers said the other woman became very angry, and she asked for a manager and then punched the clerk. The clerk punched the woman back, according to the report.

Police said other witnesses said the woman struck another clerk, as well. Both women who work at Walmart refused to prosecute.

One woman was transported to Baptist East in noncritical condition.

Walmart sent FOX13 the following statement:

“We work to provide a safe and secure environment for everyone in our stores. What is seen in this video is disturbing, and we are reviewing the situation to fully understand what happened.”