Sister of man charged in deadly dog mauling of girl speaks out on devastating loss and murder charge

Posted at 7:01 PM, Aug 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-28 19:01:42-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — "On behalf of my brother, we are very sorry," said Martha Cleveland whose brother has been charged in the death of nine-year-old Emma Hernandez. "It was an accident."

Pierre Cleveland, 33, has been charged with Second Degree Murder, Involuntary Manslaughter, and Dangerous Animal Causing Death.

Prosecutors said Cleveland "left the dogs that he knew were dangerous, loose and unsecured in the backyard of his home while he went to a nearby store." Investigators added that the fence was damaged and unsecured.

"I just want everyone to know my brother is a good guy," said Martha who, along with other family and friends, believe her brother's $2 million bond and the charge of Second Degree Murder are not warranted in the case.

Martha said her brother is devastated over Emma's death. "The child is the most important thing to him at this point."

Pierre Cleveland is due back in court on Friday for a probable cause conference. His preliminary examination is set for September 6.

Click on the video to hear from Cleveland's sister and a longtime family friend.