linked to baby's death
Idaho Press-Tribune staff
Apr. 29, 2003
BOISE - Boise police suspect
a wolf hybrid killed a 13-month-old baby this weekend while his mother
was sleeping in another room.
Police said the baby, Andre
Angel Thomas, died early Sunday at a home in the 2200 block of Frederic
Street in Boise. The child's mother had put him on a couch to sleep a
few hours earlier, but investigators said the baby and animal were found
on the floor after the attack.
The animal believed to be
responsible for this death is a wolf hybrid, 90 percent wolf and 10
percent malamute, officers said.
A man who had just moved
into the residence is an acquaintance of the child's 19-year old mother,
Starla Thomas of Mountain Home. Police were called when he found the
baby had been attacked by his roommate's dog.
Thomas told officers she put
her baby to sleep on the couch shortly after 11 p.m. Saturday and went
to bed in a nearby bedroom. No one reported hearing the dog attack the
Ada County paramedics
responded to the home about 3:30 a.m. Sunday. Attempts were made to
revive the child through CPR but were unsuccessful.
An autopsy on the child
concluded he likely died from a bite to the neck that tore the left
jugular vein, police said. Investigators also reported that the dog
likely nipped the baby hundreds of times. Boise Police said that no
charges had been filed as of Monday afternoon but the case was still
dog has been turned over to Animal Control officials, where its fate has
not yet been decided. A check of Animal Control records indicates one
previous bite complaint was filed against the dog. The bite was reported
to officials on Nov. 30, 2002. The dog was quarantined for 10 days
before being released to its owner.
Baby boy attacked by wolf hybrid
Idaho's NewsChannel 7
Animal control officers are getting ready to put down a wolf
hybrid thatthey say attacked and killed a 13-month-old baby boy.
The dog is a one and a half year old wolf hybrid named "Koa". The
owner who didn't want to go on camera says "Koa" is 75% wolf, but
police say she's 90%.
Investigators say Koa lived at this home on Frederic Street with
her owner. And they say the new renter, 28-year-old Brandon
Jenkins had moved in on Saturday, and he had a 19-year-old girl
named Starla Thomas over with her 13-month-old son. Thomas and
Jenkins reportedly left the child alone, asleep on the couch in
the living room with Koa. At some point, the dog attacked
the baby, dragging him off the coach, biting his neck, puncturing
his jugular and nipping him hundreds of times.
they may eventually file charges in connection with the dog attack
if they determine anyone was negligent. The also say alcohol and
marijuana were present in the home. But Jenkins says Thompson only
drank part of a beer and that both of them were sleeping close
enough to hear the baby if he cried. Jenkins believes Koa choked
the baby when she bit into his neck so the baby could not cry out.
He also says Thompson is a wonderful mother who loved her son
Jenkins is the one
who found the baby and tried to resuscitate him. And this isn't
the first time Koa has bitten a child. Now that Boise family is
counting their blessings that the attack on their 7-year-old son
wasn't any worse. "Two lacerations on top of the head and
some just scratch marks and he had one big one like this deep in
here." Jason Lathim says, describing
the injuries Kao inflicted on their son, Alec. It was just about 5
months ago that the Lathims were helping a friend move when their
son had a violent run-in with Koa. "It made me sick to may stomach
all day long, I was just thinking that could very well be my son."
Jason Lathim said. Lathim says he doesn't want to think about what
could've happened to 7 year old Alec if he hadn't gotten there in
He says they were
helping a friend move in the basement of the home on Frederic
street when he heard Alec screaming. "It looked as though he was
playing at first and I got closer and started to run towards him
saw that he was actually biting him." Lathim said. "He leaped up
off his hind legs and put his paws and legs on my shoulders on to
me and pushed me down on my knees and starting clawing and biting
all over my head." Alec said. Lathim says they believe Koa was
just playing and didn't know he was playing too rough.
"We do not
recommend wolf hybrids we do not recommend the breeding of them
and the owning of them at all." Dee Fugit with the Idaho Humane
Society said. Fugit says they've never had a case of a wolf hybrid
killing a child before. But she says hybrids by nature can be
extremely dangerous and need special care. "We do not adopt them
from our shelter knowing that they are wolf hybrids at all, we
"It shocked me to
hear that the dog caused anything, specially someone's death."
Neighbor Irwin Jassen said. Jassen says Koa would often try
to play with his cats and he was shocked
when he heard what had happened. As for the Lathims they were
shocked too they had decided not to push to have Koa put down,
because they thought it would never happen again. "It was just
something that we didn't feel that the dog had to be put down.
But its maybe a mistake on our part, but we didn?t have any idea
that it would happen again." Lathim said.
officers plan to put Koa down and then take forensic evidence from
Boise Man on
Trial After Wolf Hybrid Kills Child
June 28, 2004
The trial of a Boise man whose wolf hybrid
killed a young child last year is underway in State District
Hybrid owner Thomas E. Cleverly is charged with involuntary
manslaughter. His wolf hybrid attacked 13 month old Andre Angel
Thomas as the child slept on a couch in April 2003. Cleverly's
neighbor testified he tried to warn about the animal's behavior.
"I told him that the dog was trying to chase the kids or attack
them, it looked like the dog was stalking children," said Lonnie
At the time of the attack, detectives said the animal killed the
child as the boy was sleeping on the living room couch. The
child's mother and a male friend were sleeping in another room.
The animal has since been euthanized.
The trial is expected to last all week.
Wolf hybrid owner found not guilty in toddler's death
10:35 AM MDT on Friday, July 2, 2004
BOISE -- A Boise man charged with involuntary manslaughter in a
case where his wolf hybrid killed a 13-month-old baby boy has been
found no guilty. Koa was euthanized shortly after he attacked and
killed 13-month-old Andre Thomas on April 27, 2003.
The hybrid's owner, Thomas Cleverly, was
not home when the April 27, 2003 attack happened, but the state
charged Cleverly because prosecutors said he knew the pet was in
the house with the toddler.
Investigators say Andre Angel Thomas was
asleep on the couch when the
hybrid bit him on the neck and punctured the boy's jugular vein.
bitten more than 100 times.
A jury of ten men and three women heard
three days of testimony, which at times was very gruesome.
Cleverly did not take the stand during the trial. The jury
deliberations lasted about three hours.
Cleverly let out a big sigh of relief as
the verdict was read. Afterwards he had this to say to
NewsChannel 7 -- "I still feel like I am sitting there waiting for
the verdict, I really do. This is a dream state, I am not aware.
My heart hasn't slowed down, I haven't been breathing for three
days. I really don't know, I can't talk."
Prosecuting attorney Shelley Armstrong expressed her
the outcome. "We thought it was an important case to bring and we
do it again, but in this specific fact situation the jury didn't
believe that it was reckless," Armstrong said.
And although Cleverly got the verdict he
wanted, he said there were no winners in this case. "It's just
been a very sad, sad situation, and I am extremely sorry to both
sides, to the prosecutor, just sorry to everyone."
Andre's mother, Starla Thomas of Mountain
Home, has already pled guilty to felony injury to a child and is
awaiting a July 29th sentencing. She was at the house with
Cleverly's roommate when the attack happened, but not in the same
room. The hybrid named Koa was euthanized shortly after the
this tragedy have been averted?
Responsible owners and
responsible parents seem to be at a premium in our society. A Home Check
would have made it clear to a responsible breeder that this was not a
proper home for the animal.