Marine Dad Found Not Guilty In Dog Mauling Trial

An Onslow County jury has found a Marine father not guilty of child abuse in a dog mauling case.

Lance Corporal Brennan Listle was on trial after his 22-month-old son was mauled by their dog. Deputies say last February the 20-year-old Listle left his young son alone with a pit bull they had owned for about two weeks at their Horse Shoe Bend Road home in Onslow County. The child survived the attack after hospital stays in both Jacksonville and Greenville.

Jurors deliberated about two hours this afternoon before reaching their not guilty verdict.

After being found not guilty, Listle told WITN News that he feels vindicated. "It's good that it's finally resolved. I can go on, my wife can go on and our kids can go on, Listle said. We asked Listle what he would tell his son when he gets older. "If he asks I'm not going to lie to him about it. I'll tell him the truth about what happened."


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An Onslow County jury is deliberating the fate of a Camp Lejeune Marine, accused of child abuse after his young son was mauled by a pit bull.

Lance Corporal Brennan Listle is on trial after his 22-month-old son was mauled by their dog. Deputies say last February the 20-year-old Listle left his young son alone with a pit bull they had owned for about two weeks at their Horse Shoe Bend Road home in Onslow County. The child survived the attack after hospital stays in both Jacksonville and Greenville.

"I stated that I made a mistake, I have admitted I made a mistake," Listle told jurors from the witness stand today. "I did something wrong, I have to live with that...I have never neglected my child."

Listle says when getting the dog he asked the previous owner about its temperament and whether it had been around children. According to Listle, the owner said the 18-month old pit bull had not grown up around children, but did have brief interaction with them and had no problems.

Earlier his wife told jurors "Jack" was a good dog and she wasn't very concerned with him around their child, Junior. "We had a no tolerance policy with the dogs. Junior's safety was the most important." Tiffany Listle said she doesn't blame her husband for what happened. "I didn't really feel like it was his fault, it was an accident."

The defendant was the last person to testify in the two day trial. Jurors began deliberating around 3:25 p.m. If found guilty, Listle could up to 59 months in prison.


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A Camp Lejeune Marine says he found his young son face down after he was attacked by their pit bull. "He was in and out of consciousness," Brennan Listle told jurors. "He was calling me daddy."

The lance corporal is on trial for child abuse after his 22-month-old son was mauled by their dog. Deputies say last February the 20-year-old Listle left his young son alone with a pit bull they had owned for about two weeks at their Horse Shoe Bend Road home in Onslow County. The child survived the attack after hospital stays in both Jacksonville and Greenville.

The Marine says he covered his son's wounds while awaiting medical help to arrive. Listle says when getting the dog he asked the previous owner about its temperament and whether it had been around children. According to Listle, the owner said the 18-month old pit bull had not grown up around children, but did have brief interaction with them and had no problems.

Listle told jurors, "I took something for granted that I shouldn't have."

Earlier his wife told jurors "Jack" was a good dog and she wasn't very concerned with him around their child, Junior. "We had a no tolerance policy with the dogs. Junior's safety was the most important." Tiffany Listle said she doesn't blame her husband for what happened. "I didn't really feel like it was his fault, it was an accident."

If found guilty, the Marine could get between 13 to 59 months in prison.


Previous Story

The wife of a Camp Lejeune Marine says they had a zero tolerance policy with their dogs.

Lance Corporal Brennan Listle is on trial for child abuse after his 22-month-old son was mauled by their pit bull last year. Deputies say last February the 21-year-old Listle left his young son alone with a pit bull they had owned for about two weeks at their Horse Shoe Bend Road home in Onslow County. The child survived the attack after hospital stays in both Jacksonville and Greenville.

On the stand Tiffany Listle said their pit bull "Jack" was a good dog and she wasn't very concerned with him around their child, Junior. "We had a no tolerance policy with the dogs. Junior's safety was the most important."

Prosecutors wrapped up their case this morning with testimony from a doctor at Onslow Memorial Hospital. Dr. Andreus Exposito said the child was lethargic, and even stunned when he was brought in. "That child was more injured than I typically see," the doctor told jurors.


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The judge in the case of a Camp Lejeune Marine charged with child abuse after his 22-month-old son was mauled by a pit bull last year, has dismissed one of the jurors hearing the case.

Juror #10 in the case against Brennan Listle was dismissed for attempting to discuss the case or voice an opinion about the case with another juror. She was replaced by an alternate. After talking about the situation with the other juror, #12, the judge decided to let her stay.

Dismissal of both jurors could have led to a mistrial because there was only one alternate.

Brennan Listle is charged with child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.



Previous Story

A trial is underway for a Camp Lejeune Marine charged with child abuse after his 22-month-old son was mauled by a pit bull last year.

Brennan Listle is charged with child abuse inflicting serious bodily injury and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Deputies say in February 2011, the 20-year-old Listle left his 22-month-old son alone with a pit bull they had owned for about two weeks at their Horse Shoe Bend Road home.

Deputies reported Listle checked on his son after about 10 minutes and found the child face down, unconscious, with the pit bull mauling him. The child was airlifted to Pitt County Memorial Hospital where he underwent surgery. The injuries included neck fractures to the cervical spine and severe skin injuries.

WITN has a camera in the courtroom and will bring you the latest.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by bluedog Location: charlotte on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:13 AM
    Pit bulls were not bred to be nanny dogs. That is preposterous. Since 1835 dogmen have bred the pit bull as the ultimate canine gladiator. That is what the breed is, like it or not.
  • by JG on Feb 2, 2012 at 05:37 AM
    I don't care what anybody says, pit bulls were bred to fight, they are fighting dogs. They were bred for bull baiting and hog hunting. You can't tell me that it is how the dog is raised. All it takes is one cue to set him off and instinct kicks in, even for a well mannered pit. German Shepherds were bred to herd, and it is quite common to see them trying to "herd" small children. Jack Russel terriers were bred to fox hunt, so again it is not uncommon for them to run around and catch small rodents. If you are going to own a pit, it should be carried out by a responsible experienced owner. They are very powerful dogs.
    • reply
      by FATHER on Feb 2, 2012 at 06:21 AM in reply to JG
      You're judging on stereotypes and are misinformed on pits they were actually breed as nanny dogs for children. Dosome research on it
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 11:28 AM in reply to JG
      i am a HUGE pit bull advocate and have two of my own... but yes they were bred as game dogs.
    • reply
      by canine psych on Feb 2, 2012 at 12:54 PM in reply to JG
      You are all correct. Nanny dogs is a basic reference for an all around dog. Depending on how far back you look they were breed similarily for war dog, guard dogs, family dogs, and yes nanny dogs. They were home protectors, herd dogs, pit dogs, etc.
  • by FATHER Location: jacksonville on Feb 2, 2012 at 03:44 AM
    I don't take offense to most peoples posts for the simple fact most people don't know the whole story. They just saw the news and believed what it said. I can't blame them. According to officer getty what happened would probably draw a similar reaction from me. Only one that got under my skin was one saying charge my wife. (Who was at work) the most important thing is my son is healthy and happy. Once again thanks for the prayers and support endurance and relieved... semper fi
  • by Endurance Swimmer Location: Greenville on Feb 1, 2012 at 10:57 PM
    To Mr.Listle and his wife, I wish you two the best; and not to worry about the negative people on this forum, because no parent is perfect! Any child can be in danger really fast! Again, best wishes to you guys!
  • by He should be in jail on Feb 1, 2012 at 09:04 PM
    Seriously people....
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Feb 2, 2012 at 07:35 AM in reply to He should be in jail
      were you on the jury?
  • by Relieved Location: ENC on Feb 1, 2012 at 08:41 PM
    To: The Father-I was once a young Marine. I was very capable of making awesome decisions regarding the Corps. Not so much when it came to my family. I applaud your integrity in admitting you made a mistake. With that being said, "lace up your boots" and carry on. Do not allow negative remarks to interfere with your career. Your son is fine, your family is fine. Carry on. Leaving you with many prayers.....Semper Fi!
  • by Anonymous Location: martin county on Feb 1, 2012 at 06:23 PM
    If you are the Father in this situation, my prayers are with you, prayers for strength to carry you through and the wisdom to know how to deal with people in the future.
    • reply
      by FATHER on Feb 1, 2012 at 07:20 PM in reply to
      I am the father and I appreciate your prayers
  • by Ashes on Feb 1, 2012 at 05:49 PM
    It doesn't matter the breed, you don't leave a small child unattended with a dog. I have 2 older children and foster dogs. They have been taught how to approach and handle dogs. I still will not leave them alone with the dogs. Please leave the breed out of it, I hope more people will read this and realize that animals too can have bad days and one misstep can spell tragidy for all. I'm sure the dog got the a death sentence from this incident.
    • reply
      by Tragic Comedy on Feb 1, 2012 at 06:22 PM in reply to Ashes
      You are right. One misstep will spell tragidy.
  • by Jaloney Location: USA on Feb 1, 2012 at 04:25 PM
    You pick out a safe car seat and look at the safety ratings on cribs and car seats. Then you bring a dog breed with a safety record with humans and babies that is deplorable and off the charts dangerous compared to other breeds. If the government would stop being wimps this would not happen and this boy would be alive. Unfortunately, people don't read valid research and live in denial. Denial kills. Just ask Darla NAPORA the pitbull advocate from group BAD RAP.. she uttered all the slogans to defend the breed and her pitbull she raised from a puppy with love killed her. PITBULLS turn on a dime all the time. Noone knows which ones or when
    • reply
      by realist on Feb 1, 2012 at 05:04 PM in reply to Jaloney
      Before posting about pits being horrible look. Up the facts labs are more likely to bite a human per capita (of dogs)... bet you didn't know that. Point is don't sterotype people or dogs
    • reply
      by Mother on Feb 1, 2012 at 05:19 PM in reply to Jaloney
      car seats and dogs are 2 very different things. car seats are made all the same dogs are not, certain breeds are not all the same. check your stats on dangerous breeds buddy u might be surprised at what breeds are responsible for more attacks than pit bulls. by the way my son is still alive and just fine thank you.
  • by FATHER Location: jacksonville on Feb 1, 2012 at 03:47 PM
    most of you have no clue the facts of the case, im happy im able to come home tonight and put my son to sleep. and as a caution dont believe everything on the news, they had what "detectives said" not even what was used as evidence... thank you all for our prayers
    • reply
      by Glad to hear on Feb 1, 2012 at 06:23 PM in reply to FATHER
      I am glad to hear that your family will be able to move on with your lives. Accidents happen all of the time and only the ones who were there knows what happened or didnt happen. Sometimes, things happen so fast! Just be honest with your child when they get older and starts questioning any scars that may be present.
    • reply
      by Beth on Feb 1, 2012 at 07:08 PM in reply to FATHER
      I am so glad this is over for you and your family. Put it behind you and just be the best father you can be. None of us are perfect.
    • reply
      by Mother of Two on Feb 1, 2012 at 07:14 PM in reply to FATHER
      I am very happy the jury saw this tragic accident for what it was, a tragic accident. Thank you and your family for your service to our country. God bless you and your family, you will be in my thoughts and prayers.
    • reply
      by FATHER on Feb 1, 2012 at 07:31 PM in reply to FATHER
      Thank you both. I do plan on being honest with jr. and just glad everything is finally over. Most people failed to understand and realize there is much more to the story then what detective getty and the sheriffs dept reported. Including the fact that my son has been in mine and my wifes care without any dss involvement since last june. My warning learned the hard way is 1. Complatency can kill/ you can't take a small mistake back and 2. People are going to believe whatever they want, most parents lash out at me but I asked them to be honest with themselves have you ever left your child unattended for less then 5 minutes... probably you just don't to admit it... anything can be lethal... on that note good night and. Thanks again Ps. For those who weren't paying attention jr., my now almost 3 yr old has made a full recovery he is NOT dead that was another dog bite incident the same week by a golden retreiver
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