Animals: Murder by Tooth and Claw

Murder by Tooth and Claw

Citizens in Morgan Hill, Calif., were outraged last June when a pit bullterrier savagely attacked and killed James Soto, 2 1/2, a toddler who had wandered into a neighbor's backyard. Willie, the muscular, 60-lb. dog responsible for the mauling, was subsequently destroyed. Last week Willie's owner, Michael Patrick Berry, 37, was formally charged with murder.

Berry had initially been booked for manslaughter. The charge was amended after police found dogfighting magazines and attack-training equipment in Berry's house, indicating that he knew Willie was dangerous yet kept the dog in an area accessible to neighborhood children.

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