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Pine Bluff garage owner charged in pit bull attack

by Danielle Kloap | April 22, 2015 at 11:28 a.m.

A Pine Bluff man has been charged with manslaughter in a March pit bull terrier attack that left another man dead, the Jefferson County prosecuting attorney's office announced Wednesday.

John Chester Smith, 62, of Pine Bluff, owned the dogs that attacked and killed De'Trick Omar Johnson, 36, of Pine Bluff on March 21, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette previously reported.

Johnson took his vehicle to Smith's business, CJ's Garage at 300 Thomas Road, about 9:53 a.m. and then was attacked by the dogs.

Johnson, who deputies said still appeared to be alive when they responded, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Jefferson County sheriff's office spokesman Maj. Lafayette Woods said Smith had been warned in the past about his dogs and their aggressive nature.

The manslaughter charge is a Class D felony, and an arrest warrant for Smith was issued at the time the charges were filed, Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Case Coordinator Cheryl Skagsjord said.

Woods said his office has not received the arrest warrant and expects that Smith will not be arrested before Friday.


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