State of South Carolina v. Dale Peake
Briarcliffe is a small town in South Carolina that includes a subdivision named after the town. The Briarcliffe community used to be populated with an older generation and in recent years has grown into a younger community requiring the addition of new schools. Dale Peake, the Defendant, was known to call the police over the last year to report various incidents of vandalism, prank calls, ringing doorbells, stolen newspapers, etc. Frustrated with those incidents, the Defendant purchased a rare dog--a Lupohound as a guard dog. The Defendant named the dog Zeus. Zeus and the Defendant went through an intensive four-week training program before the dog was released to its new owner, Peake. On March 12, 2004, some kids were playing in the neighborhood with a tennis ball that hit the defendant's home. The Defendant's dog attacked one of the children that was playing with the tennis ball. Witnesses report that the dog attacked the victim, Brian Hamilton, and was called off of the child with a single word command spoken by the Defendant. Brian Hamilton later died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. At present, the defendant's guard dog is being retained at the county pound with the aid of Maligned Animal's Defense Committee and Affiliated Pet-owners (MADCAP), an animal activist group, that got an injunction to hold off putting the dog to sleep. The Defendant, Dale Peake, has been charged with murder and possession of a dangerous animal.