A woman’s ‘cruel’ dog attack has been described in court

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A man who owned the dogs that brutally attacked an upstate woman last month, seriously injuring her and forcing her arms to be amputated, appeared in court Thursday for allowing dangerous animals unhindered from his in the March 21 attack on Kyleen Waltman Property. Investigators said three dogs abused Waltman as she walked down Ball Road in Honea Path. Waltman suffered serious injuries, including the amputation of both arms to the shoulder and the removal of her colon, and has undergone numerous skin grafts, all of which her family documents on a GoFundMe page. The only person to testify during the hearing was Abbeville County Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Jeffrey Hines, who described what deputies saw at the scene the day Waltman was found critically injured in a ditch, walking 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 his pistol to scare the dogs off. The dogs ran away afterwards, Hines said. PRIOR COVERAGE: Woman mauled by dogs to undergo another operation, family says Woman Abused By Dogs In South Carolina Had Successful Surgery, Family Says; Bond setHines said the witness did not see the attack begin. Minors’ attorney Charles Gross asked Hines if they had spoken to witnesses who saw the start of the attack, to which he replied no. Hines said the deputies arrived at the scene and saw Waltman. badly bitten” on the side of the dirt road across from Minor’s house. He said paramedics arrived later and treated Waltman at the scene before they were taken to the hospital by ambulance. Hines said he went to the hospital a few days after the incident, after saying Waltman had multiple surgeries. He took photos in the intensive care unit and described how both arms were “completely amputated up to the shoulders,” he said. “She had bites from head to feet, including her entire body. It was one of the cruellest animal attacks I’ve seen in my career,” Hines said when Minor arrived, telling MPs he was at work when he received a call about the attack. Minor told MPs they could take the dogs and drop them off, Hines said. Animal control officials previously said they took a total of 11 dogs from Minor’s property. According to Hines, Minor told MPs he wanted to euthanize the dogs after they killed his chickens, but his wife opposed it. Minor told MPs his wife thought they could be coached. Minor told deputies that “once a dog tastes blood, that’s it,” Hines said in court. Hines testified that Witness Minor described the dogs that attacked Waltman, who retrieved the dogs and signed them with Abbeville County Animal Control. 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 had been vaccinated against rabies “or anything else” Unsure to leave his house because Minor’s dogs would come near him and growl at him. He said he always had to carry a cane when he had to go outside, Hines said. The neighbor said he was told by Minor a few days before the attack: “These dogs will bite anyone.” Describing Minor’s property, Hines said there was no fence around the property. He says there were some kennels outside with some dogs inside, but he says others roamed the property. Hines said he doesn’t know why, but said it could have been the stress of the situation, “to see this lady being viciously assaulted,” or because the deputy’s top priority was to help Waltman. Hines described to the court what he later saw on body camera footage, which he reviewed. The video showed Waltman being carried on a stretcher with “her entire triceps removed and nothing but the bone on her left arm.” No connection was made as to whether they were the same dogs from the Christmas Eve incident,” Gross said. Gross also said that no testimony presented in court provided evidence that the attack was unprovoked. “While this is a tragic situation, it does not necessarily mean that it is a criminal situation and I would just ask everyone to remember the presumption of innocence,” Gross said. In the end, the judge ruled that there were enough probable grounds for the prosecution to continue in the courtroom, sometimes emotionally during the hearing. Her family declined to comment after 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, seriously injuring her and forcing her arms to be amputated, appeared in court Thursday.

Justin Minor is charged with possessing dangerous animals on three counts, assaulting a human, committing a rabies offense and allowing dangerous animals off his property freely in the March 21 attack on Kyleen Waltman.

Investigators said three dogs mauled Waltman as she was walking down Ball Road in Honea Path.

Waltman suffered serious injuries, including amputation of both arms to the shoulder, removal of her colon and numerous skin grafts, all of which her family documents on a GoFundMe page.

During the preliminary hearing, Minor would sit with his attorney, Charles Gross, often with his elbows on a table and his hands clasped to cover his mouth.

justin minor court hearing on 28 April 2022

The only person to testify during the hearing was Abbeville County Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Jeffrey Hines, who described what deputies saw at the scene when Waltman was found critically injured in a ditch.

Hines said the man who called 911 about the attack was driving his tractor 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 his pistol to scare the dogs off. The dogs then ran away, Hines said.

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Hines said the witness did not see the attack begin.

Minors’ attorney Charles Gross asked Hines if they had spoken to witnesses who saw the start of the attack, to which he replied no.

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

Lt.  Jeffrey Hines, Abbeville County Sheriff's Office

He said emergency medical personnel arrived later and treated Waltman at the scene before they were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Hines said he went to the hospital a few days after the incident after saying Waltman had had multiple surgeries.

He took photos in the intensive care unit and described how both arms were “completely amputated up to the shoulders,” he said. “She had bites from head to feet, including her entire body. It was one of the cruellest animal attacks I’ve seen in my career.”

Hines said when Minor arrived he told MPs he was at work when he received a call about the attack.

Minor told MPs they could take the dogs and drop them off, Hines said.

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

According to Hines, Minor told MPs he wanted to kill the dogs after they killed his chickens, but his wife opposed it. Minors told MPs 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 Witness Minor described the dogs that attacked Waltman, who retrieved the dogs and turned them over to Abbeville County Animal Control.

Hines said dispatchers had told deputies that a man had reported an earlier attack with underage 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 was 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 had been vaccinated against rabies “or anything else”.

Hines testified that a neighbor told MPs he felt unsafe leaving his home because Minor’s dogs would come near him and growl at him. He said he always had to carry a cane when he had to go outside, Hines said. The neighbor said Minor told him a few days before the attack: “These dogs will bite anyone.”

Hines describes Minor’s property and says that there was no fence around the property. He says there were some kennels outside with some dogs inside, but he says others roamed the property.

Hines said both MPs who responded were equipped with body cameras, but said the first MP to arrive did not immediately turn on the camera. Hines said he doesn’t know why, but said it could have been the stress of the situation, “to see this lady being viciously attacked,” or because the deputy’s first priority was to help Waltman.

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

Gross moved the court to dismiss the charges, saying the testimony did not meet all the requirements for a probable cause.

“No connection has been made as to whether these are the same dogs from the Christmas Eve incident,” Gross said.

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

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

In the end, the judge ruled that there were enough probable grounds to proceed with the indictment.

Waltman’s mother and sister were sometimes emotional in the courtroom during the hearing. Her family declined to comment after the hearing.

The next court date has not yet been set.

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