Nation

Lawyer defends mother in dog attack

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A mother charged with child cruelty in the dog mauling death of her 21-month-old daughter was studying in her bedroom when the toddler slipped into their backyard and was attacked by the family’s seven dogs, her attorney said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, authorities charged Summer Laminack with second-degree cruelty to children, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison, in the March 27 death of her daughter, Monica Renee Laminack.

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‘‘We feel and contend there is no question the death of this child was a tragic accident,’’ attorney Tom Edenfield said by phone. ‘‘My client is an 18-year-old mother who loved her daughter and cared for her very much.’’

Bryan County sheriff’s investigators said the child slipped outside through a doggie door and was attacked by the seven pit bulls and pit bull mixes in the tiny town of Ellabell, about 30 miles west of Savannah. By the time the girl’s mother and other adults in the house noticed the dogs barking, the child was dead.

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Edenfield said the toddler’s mother was in her bedroom studying for her GED when the attack happened.

Laminack was released from jail on bond.

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