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Father of pit bull mauling victim indicted for negligent homicide

By JR Ortega
June 1, 2012 at 1:01 a.m.
Updated June 2, 2012 at 1:02 a.m.

Cole Johnson, the father of Kylar, helps police search for his missing son in a junkyard on Goliad Road. Authorities, volunteers and members of Kylar's family knocked on vehicle trunks and shouted his name for hours before the boy's body was found.

The father of a 4-year-old boy who was mauled to death by a pit bull in March is facing three indictments, including negligent homicide.

Cole Johnson's indictments were handed down Wednesday in a case that shocked a community already coping with an earlier rash of pit bull attacks, said Victoria County District Attorney Steve Tyler.

Johnson also faces charges of endangering a child and injury to a child.

"The county (Victoria County Sheriff's Office) had responded out to that location before," Tyler said.

Attempts to reach Johnson for comment were not successful.

Kylar Johnson wandered away from his home in the 1100 block of Old Goliad Road on the night of March 25. The boy's body was found about a quarter-mile away in the backyard of a neighbor's home. Several dogs were in the enclosure but one, a pit bull, which was suspected of killing the child.

Johnson, other family, friends and a search party spent most of the night of March 25 and some of the following morning searching for Kylar.

Johnson, 28, told sheriff's deputies he was cleaning his car when his son disappeared, but Tyler believes Johnson was negligent in Kylar's death.

"Deputies had found the toddler wandering down the road before," Tyler said.

Also, in May 2011, the sheriff's office responded to a disturbance at the same location in which a 20-year-old man died by accidentally shooting himself in the head.

Johnson was arrested on suspicion of interfering with public duties in that shooting. He also possessed a controlled substance.

This conduct shows some negligence, Tyler said. The case will take several months before the trial begins.

"You know he wasn't keeping a close eye," Tyler said.

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