Man pleads guilty, sentenced after little girl killed in pitbull attack

Makayla Woodard
Makayla Woodard

MONROE, NC (WBTV) - A Waxhaw man was sentenced to two years in prison after changing his plea to guilty Friday in the death case of 5-year-old Makayla Woodard.

Michael Brandon Gordon changed his plea from not guilty to guilty during jury selection on Friday, according to a news release from the Union County District Attorney's Office.

Gordon was sentenced Tuesday to 20-24 months in a N.C. Department of Corrections facility.

The crime occurred on January 12, 2011 at the home of 5-year-old Makayla Woodard, the victim in the case. The defendant owned two full grown pit bulls who were not properly restrained pursuant to Waxhaw Town Ordinance.

According to witnesses, several people had warned the defendant that the dogs were dangerous. On the morning of January 12, Makayla went out to play in the snow in her yard and was attacked by the two pit bulls, suffering injuries covering her entire body and a fatal injury to her throat.

Nancy Presson, Makayla's great-grandmother and guardian, rushed to Makayla's aid and was also severely injured by the dogs.

The defendant was not home at the time of the attack.

"The loss of Makayla Woodard is an unspeakable tragedy, and it is my hope that this case can be a reminder to our community to act responsibly and not act in a manner which puts our neighbors in danger," said District Attorney Trey Robison.

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