Fatal dog mauling ruled an accident

By Beau Ebenezer

June 11, 2013 Updated Jun 12, 2013 at 11:22 AM CDT

GALESBURG Ill -- On March 2, 7-year-old Ryan Maxwell was playing in the backyard of a family friend's house when he was attacked and killed by their chained dog.

After working with police for several weeks, prosecutors said no crime was committed and the incident has been ruled an accident. They said the owners did not act recklessly or knowingly put the child in danger.

"The kids did play around it. The dog was fine with people. It had never hurt anybody," said Knox County Assistant State's Attorney, Elisa Tanner. "There were actually no other police reports involving this dog in particular, so we didn't have a background or history of any kind of violence. The history was that, not only the victim, but the whole family that owned the dog were around it all the time."

It is unknown whether the victim's family will file a civil suit against the dog's owners.

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