Grand jury indicts man in pit bull attack that killed 5-year-old - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Grand jury indicts man in pit bull attack that killed 5-year-old girl

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Makayla Woodard Makayla Woodard
The is the house where Makayla Woodard lived, (Source: WBTV Photographer Alison Hill) The is the house where Makayla Woodard lived, (Source: WBTV Photographer Alison Hill)
Michael Gordon lives here and he is the owner of the two dogs involved in the attack. (Source: WBTV Photographer Alison Hill) Michael Gordon lives here and he is the owner of the two dogs involved in the attack. (Source: WBTV Photographer Alison Hill)
Waxhaw police look for the second dog involved in the attack. Waxhaw police look for the second dog involved in the attack.
Sky 3 circles above the area where the girl was attacked by the dogs. Sky 3 circles above the area where the girl was attacked by the dogs.

By Derrick Rose | Chris Dyches - email | Jeff Rivenbark - email

WAXHAW, NC (WBTV) - A Union County grand jury has indicted the owner of pit bulls that allegedly attacked and killed a 5 year old girl in January.

The indictment formally charges Michael Gordon, 23, of Waxhaw, with felony involuntary manslaughter in the death of Makayla Woodard.  Deputies arrested Gordon Thursday inside the Union County courthouse while he was to appear on the felony and misdemeanor charges.

Related: Read the grand jury indictment

The charges had been continued until March 17, however, the grand jury returned the indictment march 7. An order for Gordon's arrest was signed March 16.

Gordon is scheduled for court again May 12.

Makayla is survived by her parents, Kristin Lea Frady of Waxhaw, and Raken Chase Woodard of Marshville.  

"I loved my daughter," said Frady. "She was our princess."

Makayla and her great-grandmother, 67-year-old Nancy Presson, were attacked by the dogs on Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 325 Rehobeth Road.

Presson was bitten several times on her arm and hand while trying to pull the dogs off Makayla, according to police.

Makayla and Presson were taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Union in Monroe where the girl died.  Presson was treated for serious wounds and later released from the hospital.

In the days following the attack, Makayla's mother said she was upset the media described the dogs as vicious, even though the dogs killed her daughter.  She said the dogs had always been friendly up until the attack.

Amy Plyler, who is a family member, said the girl was attacked while trying to get into a fenced-in yard adjacent to her home.  Makayla and her mother lived with Presson.

Makayla was mauled by a pit bull named Rebel which Plyler said "tended to wander the street."

"I don't know if Makayla even saw them coming," Plyler said.

Investigators said Rebel was immediately killed by authorities.  The other dog was on the loose for a short time, but was later fatally shot by officers. 

Both dogs belonged to neighbor Michael Gordon.  According to the Waxhaw Police Department, officers visited Gordon's house in December and warned him about restraining the dogs.

Some people believe the two pit bulls were abused, but a woman who answered the door at Gordon's home said it wasn't true and that "people make up a whole lot of stuff."

On the morning the girl was attacked, Scott Bland was in his driveway trying to clear snow and ice so he could go to work.  (Click to see our complete interview with Scott Bland.)

"She was screaming non-stop, she would catch her breath--there were no words, just screams," said Bland who called 911.  "It was like a horror film, just high-pitch squeals, a woman's voice, the screaming just got worse."

Bland said when he spoke with a 911 operator, they had already received other calls concerning the attack.

"It was a little bit unnerving to know the pit bull dogs were running around the neighborhood," Bland said.  "This is a perfect example of why people should not allow these dogs to run loose."

The town of Waxhaw does has a leash law prohibiting pet owners from letting their dogs run loose.

The Waxhaw board of commissioners want to form a group to examine the town's current rules and a way of dealing with problem dogs.  The group could include a representative from police and a veterinarian.

"It breaks my heart," said Waxhaw mayor Daune Gardner.  "I know that our entire community's heart is just torn up by this.  It's tragic."

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