Pit Bull Owners Charged, Devastated

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

"He feels as bad as the rest of us."

Rebecca Russell says her brother isn't eating or sleeping since the attack.

"It's not just that family going through pain, it's us too. We feel just as bad for that little girl as her own family does," Russell says.

Russell's brother Brian Nace, and his girlfriend Jasmine Bailey, are both facing felony charges after their three pit bulls mauled six-year-old neighbor Tyah Norris earlier this week in Blackman Township.

The little girl is in the hospital with gruesome facial injuries, requiring more than 500 stitches, according to police.

"They were not violent dogs. We did not raise them to kill. These dogs have been around 12 to 15 other kids, and never charged at anybody," Russell says.

But this one attack should never have happened, says Jackson County Prosecutor Hank Zavislak. He authorized the charges, which could land Nace and Bailey in prison for four years. He can't even bring himself to speak about Tyah's injuries.

"What did this child do? This poor child did nothing wrong," Zavislak says. "While the dogs committed the act, responsibility goes beyond the animal."

But Russell says her brother isn't to blame; he wasn't home for the attack and Russell says it's Bailey who let the dogs off the leash.

Zavislak says that doesn't change what happened.

"One child with 500 stitches, who's going to have a future of unspeakable pain and suffering with plastic surgery, one case like that is one case too many."

Nace is out on personal recognizance bond Friday night, while Bailey remains in the Jackson County Jail. We went to Tyah's home to get an update on her condition, but her family was not home.

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