MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — A Marion County family said their 7-year-old son — who was killed in a dog attack in June — hasn’t gotten justice after charges were dropped against the alleged dog owner.
The alleged dog owner, Lorenzo Cardenas, was charged with involuntary manslaughter after Shamar Sharif Jackson was killed in the attack. Shamar Jackson’s parents, Carnell and Roseann Jackson, sat in on the Cardenas’ preliminary hearing, which resulted in the charges being dropped.
The family is looking to their faith for guidance on what to do next.
More than six months after the attack, police tape remains on the Marion County road where Roseann Jackson found her son after the attack — and the grass is still flattened in the shape of his body.
“He was a loving kid. Energetic. He hugged people,” his parents said. “I just miss him. He gave the best hugs.”
After the attack, law enforcement took the dogs into custody and Cardenas went to jail to await trial. At his preliminary hearing in December, his attorney argued that a dog found with the child’s blood on its fur did not belong to him — but was a stray he was feeding. Carnell Jackson disagreed, and showed pictures of the dog in the man’s yard the morning after the attack.
“I felt hurt,” Carnell Jackson said. “I felt crushed. What he said was, he doesn’t know who is at fault or who to blame. The proof is there, the dog was in the man’s yard.”
“The solicitor didn’t put up an argument against the defendant’s lawyer because he just sat there and agreed with him,” Roseann Jackson said. “I really think that he didn’t do his job.”
During the hearing, an investigator with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office said he was aware of complaints about dogs in the neighborhood, but not the man’s dogs specifically.
“Do y’all have these problems now, since these dogs have been picked up? All the kids are out there and can play now, but my son can’t,” Carnell Jackson said.
Carnell Jackson said he is working with an attorney and hopes to reach out to the NAACP for help, but in the meantime, he’s been remembering a bible verse.
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourself. Rather, give peace unto wrath for it is written that vengeance is mine and I will repay it, sayeth the Lord.”
“I trust god,” Carnell Jackson said. “I trust God in his word and that’s what I’m going to go on. He’s going to turn this thing around, I know he is going to turn it around.”
News13 spoke to Cardenas’ attorney, Brad Richardson, Friday morning. He called the incident a tragedy but said evidence gathered after the arrest showed Cardenas was not at fault. He said in order to convict, the prosecutor needed to prove the animal was dangerous, which would have been difficult, because South Carolina has no laws defining certain breeds as dangerous.
Richardson called Cardenas a family man and a hard worker.
A Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson told News13 it will issue a statement Friday evening.