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Leerburg » Articles » Rots Kill 11 Year Old Boy - The Sabine Davidson Murder Trial

Rots Kill 11 Year Old Boy - The Sabine Davidson Murder Trial
Rots Kill 11 Year Old Boy
The Sabine Davidson Murder Trial
Lessons to Learn from Many Mistakes

In Junction City Kansas, Sabine Davidson is charged with second-degree unintentional murder. On April 24th, 1997 three of Davidsons four Rots killed 11 year old Christopher Wilson as he waited for a school bus. On January 15. 1998 I testified for 2 1/2 hours for the prosecution in this case.

This case has drawn a lot of publicity. Brian Gumble focused his show on the case and did a reasonably good job on the facts. After I got home from testifying I saw Johnny (the snake) Cochrane on court TV demonstrate his lack of knowledge and background research by trying to act like an expert on something he knew little about.

The facts in this case are rather repulsive. Sabine Davidson is a German National married to an American. She had 4 imported Rots. One being a 3 year old Sch 2. She had done protection training on the other 3 (although she denied it) She kept these dogs in the back yard, not in kennels just running together in the yard. The gate on the yard was defective and the dogs were constantly getting out and terrorizing children in the neighborhood. Several neighborhood children testified that they had been chased more than once when the dogs were out of the yard. Davidson had been warned on a number of occasions by the police to fix the gate and keep her dogs contained. She and her husband did nothing to correct this situation.

Chris Wilson
The victim, Christopher
Wilson: Mauled to death by
three rottweilers

On April 24th, 1997 Christopher and his younger brother went out to wait for the bus. The rots got loose and chased them up a tree. The rots left and went to a wooded ravine about 50 yards away. When the bus came Christopher climbed down (as his bother pleaded with him to stay) and made a run for the bus. The rots charged and attacked him before he could get to the bus.

The killing took over 10 minutes. The photos of the scene looked like autopsy photos. It was witnessed by a bus full of children and the bus driver (a female in her 30's who could do nothing to help) When the first police officer arrived on the scene he was attacked by the male. It took 3 shots to kill the dog as it charged the officer. One of the other 3 rots was shot at the scene and the third was wounded and ran off. A police K9 tracked the dog as it made a 3 mile loop back to the wooded area behind the Davidson house where it was also shot by police.

Sabine Davidson (and her husband) show no remorse for this incident. In fact she blames the children for teasing her dog (which testimony indicated never happened.) They claim they had never trained their dogs in bite work even though they had purchased a bite training video from me. She has also been thrown out of several local schutzhund clubs.

This case is one of the most disgusting examples of dog ownership that I have ever seen. It demonstrates a callous lack of responsibility. This woman and her husband deserve every minute of jail time the Judge and Jury choose to give them.

There are a number of lessons that can be learned from this case:

In the case of the Davidsons I can only comment on the 4th Rot that was in the house at the time of the incident. I saw video of this dog being tested by Tom Brenneman (at the request of the District Attorneys) and video of the same dog being tested by some guy for the defense (he didn't have a clue about what he was doing.)

This bitch had weak nerves. It was not a social animal, it was a sharp dog that was quick to bark. It lacked self confidence and prey drive. When pushed it bit with a frontal bite. In my opinion it should never have been trained, it would never have passed a schutzhund temperament test. When released and the helper stimulated the dog with a whip from a distance the dog did a stand off hold and bark. It was very obvious that this dog had some protection training. No dog with weak nerves is going to react like she did without training. When pushed the dog came very close to running before it bit.

Sabine Davidson and her husband were both charged in this case. Their lawyers chose to have separate trials. When the verdicts and sentences are in I will post them.

One final point that Johnny (the snake) Cochrane could not figure out (because he did not do the research) is that Kansas has a level of murder that is above manslaughter. Manslaughter is an accident with negligence. The way it was explained to me is that in Kansas there is a level of murder that involves an accident with intentional negligence. In this case, Davidson had been warned repeatedly to fix the gate and chose not to do so.

Attorney thank you letter

I have a second article posted on this subject: The Sabina Davidson Case - THE VERDICT

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I have a two year old male fixed rotts. About two weeks ago my neighbor's beagle broke back yard fence and she came over. My six year old Akita and Rott killed the dog. Since then we have put the Rott in its pin when we are unable to watch him. The Akita has been left out in back because he barks when locked up. On sunday of May 4th my daughter left her friend out back with both dogs out. And she said that the dogs where play fighting and she walked around them then the Rott came over to her and bit her in the arm. He did not draw blood. The last time the dog had seen this girl was in July. He has been a good dog up to this point. We have kids over a lot. My kids are 7 & 9. My husband wants to put the dog down before he hurts or kills someone which I can see his point. But I love this dog and I want to do what is best.

Is training even a question at this point? I want to do the right thing. We are in the process of moving to Wisc. in June 2003. Please let me know your thoughts on this matter.

Thanks again,
Michelle Pellatt


The first option does not need to be killing the dog. Find this dog another home - interview the people who come to look at it until you find someone who is responsible. Your husband is correct - you are in over your head and don't even know it. To allow children to be around two dogs like this is insane. I live in WI - we just had a young girl killed by Rots south of here. The owner is going to prison - do you want that? I think not. But killing the dog does not have to be the first option. This dog has not done enough to warrant that yet.


April 19, 2000

Mr. Frawley,
I would like to tell you that I love your website. It is excellent!! I also would like to comment on the attack and death of children by dogs. I have a very similar case next door. The neighbor has 4 Rotts. They constantly run the fence barking, growling and jumping up at my family and anyone that's within their sight. They are never taken out or played with by their owner. They only get attention when the kids swim in the pool. The dogs have been in a 20 ft by 30 ft pen with no grass and only one dog house their whole lives.

Anyway, shortly after they moved in next to me, the dogs started getting out. At the time there were two adults (his breeding pair). I contacted their landlord and the neighbors' parents to let them know they were out. No one came until late that night to put them up. This kept happening off and on for two weeks and the dogs were coming onto my property. I raise German Shepherds and the Rotts were trying to get at my dogs through the fence. On several occasions I took a chance and slipped over to their house and knocked on the door to tell them their dogs were out. I was met with an attitude of total indifference and anger for having disturbed them. The last time I slipped over to their home, hoping the dogs would not see me and get me, I told them the dogs were out and the dogs caught sight of me and came after me. I had to jump into their doorway to prevent an attack! Well, at that point I got angry and gave up on them.

To make a long story short, the dogs kept getting out and chased several people into cars, homes or sheds. The neighbors were told many times about their dogs. Then it happened - I drove up one day and when my children got out of the car and tried to walk to the front door, the dogs came in my yard and came after us. We ran into our house, good thing it was only a few feet to the doorway! I peeped out after a while and they were on the porch growling at me and charged the door. Well that was it! I called the police and filed a report. The very next day my family was outside and I happened to look up just as the neighbor's dogs charged us again. This time we ran to one of our kennels and jumped in with one of our shepherds. The Rotts tried to get our dogs through the fence, and my dogs were going crazy at the intruders. Another neighbor heard the racket and came outside. When she saw the situation, she called the police and another report was made. This time my neighbor was very angry and he even tried to hit me, was I glad the cop was there!

He was fined $800.00, put on probation (if his dogs get out again he will get a heavy fine) and I was told I could shoot them if they got out again and threatened us. The cops told how the dogs had acted when they arrived (charging and growling) and they had to use pepper spray. Two times the cop that came was too scared to do anything and waited inside the house with us until he got in touch with the neighbors father, who just happens to be very high in our community.

I am not comfortable letting my kids play outside alone any more. Even to this day, there is only a four-foot fence and a few cross ties around the bottom of the fence to hold these four full grown Rotts. All day they run that fence watching our every move growling and barking and jumping so high that half their bodies clear the fence. I just pray that the dogs stay stupid enough not to realize they can jump it. They also have had parvo in their kennels, so every time they get out I have to bleach my whole yard and since I learned this I have had to be giving all my adults 3 sets of shots a year.

Since this happened last year a litter of his pups came over to my place and I returned all of them. One dog has gotten out twice and came over to my place. I was not home once when it happened and the second time the owner came and got it when we ran inside. I did not call the police but I damn sure will next time! I pray every night that we will not get bitten the next time!! I saw one of these dogs bite the wife. I know some people don't want to hear what I'm gonna say, but I think there should be a law that if a dog is a danger (even if it hasn't bitten someone yet) and keeps getting out, the dog should be put to sleep.

Thank you for letting me vent.
Jennifer LeJeune

Ed's Comment

I have received a number of e-mail concerning this article. This one caught my eye as it came from a 14 year old with some interesting comments on what happened with their 4 GSDs that they let run as a pack in the country. The point is that this can happen to any breed if they are not properly taken care of.


Dear Ed,
I just got through reading the article about the Rots that killed that little boy. I was devastated! I am only 14, but I really enjoy reading and looking up info. on the internet. Especially when it is about German Shepherds. I plan to either be a vet or a breeder, of German Shepherds, or a dog trainer. Me and my mother bred them for one litter then we sold the puppies and the mother. She was an excellent bitch. She was the daughter of CH Andeyaus Black Mt. Dakota. I think that is how you spell his name. The breeder we bought her from was real uptight about where she was going to. I really loved the picture of the dog you were saying was a once in a lifetime dog. That was a beautiful dog. We are going to buy another German Shepherd from my sister. They have a dark colored shepherd. She is very big boned. When we get her I may buy some of your videos on teaching the bite command. Right now I have a male. He is about 5 years old. I trained the shepherd we have now. He knows the basics and "Get him." The female was an excellent watch dog. I will have to talk to my mother about maybe purchasing one of your bitches or puppies. I think I would be pleased with what I get. Going back to the article, at one time we had 4 shepherds. All males. They loved to get together and kill things. We lived in the country. All the dogs ran loose. Almost every day there was a deer in our yard. One that they killed. They soon started turning on us. We had them put to sleep. I had scars from where one attacked me. His name was Sir Jovanna Hamilton. I better get going, but if you have any brochures or info about becoming a dog trainer for a job, please send it to me.

Shelly Roberta Dunn

Toddler critical after dog attack

18 July 2007

BRUSSELS – A 19-month-old child was attacked by a dog in the Limburg town of Wellen yesterday evening. The boy was bitten in the face and was brought to the Virga Jesse hospital in Hasselt in critical condition. The dog was a cross between a rottweiler and a mastiff.

The child's grandparents witnessed the attack, which occurred while the boy was playing with his 3-year-old brother. Another dog, a poodle, was also in the room. The rottweiler-mastiff mix attacked the boy head on when he went to pick up the poodle. The child was bitten repeatedly on the face and upper body. It was a vicious attack, resulting in serious bite wounds on the face and neck. The grandparents managed to pull the dog off of the child.

Local police from the Borgloon district came to the scene. A veterinarian administered a lethal injection to the aggressive dog.

Baby girl dies after dog attack

A baby girl has died after being mauled by the family dog at Pakenham, south-east of Melbourne.

Police say the nine-week-old girl was in her cot at home when she was attacked by a rottweiler.

Ambulance crews were called to treat the baby girl for serious injuries just after 1:00pm AEDT.

Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokesman James Howe says two intensive care paramedics worked on her girl for an hour and a half, but were unable to save her.

"There were two intensive care paramedics crews plus standard emergency ambulance," he said.

"They worked on her at the scene and unfortunately as they were about to load her to hospital she passed away at the scene."

The baby suffered serious injuries to her head and body in the attack.

Police say the the mother of the baby was at home when the attack happened, but the father is in hospital recovering from a brain tumour.

Acting Inspector Trevor Teer says the baby's mother is being supported by her family.

"The family is devastated, the mother is devastated; it's their first baby," he said.

The dog has now been impounded by council officers

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