Edward Daniels Found Guilty of Manslaughter - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Edward Daniels Found Guilty of Manslaughter

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The jury has deliberated and the verdict is in: Edward Daniels, the man whose dogs attacked and killed 7 year old Tyler Jett in April, has been found guilty of manslaughter.

The two day trial tugged on the heartstrings of many and, now, there's possible closure for one family who's suffered unimaginable heartbreak.

"The defendant is guilty as charged of Manslaughter," the clerk read aloud.

For Edward and Crystal Daniels, their son goes to jail; facing the consequences for the brutal dog attack of neighbor, Tyler Jett.

During the two day trial, Assistant State Attorney, Larry Basford sought to prove Daniels guilty of culpable negligence for not properly restraining his two bulldogs, MJ and Fat Boy, despite several complaints they had escaped their enclosure and were being aggressive.

"These two dogs, they mauled and mangled and murdered a little boy that belonged to [Daniels]. They were dangerous and everybody knew were dangerous. He would have you believe that he didn't. You can't stick your head in the sand and avoid responsibility," said Basford.

The Defense's Kevin Carlisle said neighbors never told his client about their encounters and accused the State of using too much emotion to influence the jury's judgment.

"The personal details that were brought out, that Tyler had coco puffs for breakfast, that Brandy didn't get to waive bye to him on the bus, that he earned a green sticker at school, those are not going to help you make any decisions in this case," he said.

Ultimately, the prosecution persevered; Tyler's family feeling justice had been served, but nothing fills the void.

"They will get their son back. We will never have Tyler. We will never be able to hold him and kiss him and love him and see him after school. They will have the chance to write him and talk to him on the phone," said family friend, Kathryn Phillips.

Tyler's mother, Brandy Wilhite, is perhaps a small step closer to closure.

"I mean it'll never bring him back, but its justice for Tyler," she said.

Daniels was found not guilty for the charge of tampering with evidence.

He will be sentenced October 14th.


***Updated from earlier story***


Edward Daniels Jr. was convicted Thursday of manslaughter after his two dogs mauled a 7-year-old boy to death.


Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford told jurors in his opening statement Wednesday that Edwards knew or should have known that his dogs, Fat Boy and MJ, posed a danger to the people in his Kelly Court neighborhood.

On April 2, those dogs, one a pit bull the other a bulldog,  attacked and killed Tyler Austin Jett in Tyler's front yard after chasing another boy through the neighborhood.

Five days earlier, the two dogs had escaped Edwards' yard and threatened several neighbors, many of whom reported the incident to Edwards and told him to restrain his dogs. Edwards was cited by Animal Control that day for his dogs being unrestrained and aggressive.

Basford said there had been earlier instances of the dogs escaping Edwards' yard, but he'd done nothing more than "half-hearted" attempts at repairing a "dilapidated" fence.

"He's not charged with murder. He's not charged with intentionally setting those dogs on Tyler Jett," Basford said of Edwards. "Tyler's death was caused by the culpable negligence of the defendant."

Edwards faces up to 15 years in prison when Circuit Judge James Fensom sentences him Oct. 14.