An appeal court has reinstated a child neglect charge against a 17-year-old baby sitter whose pit bull attacked a 2-year-old child under her care in the Florida Panhandle.
A three judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal voted 2-1 Tuesday to reverse a trial judge's dismissal of the charge. It carries a 15-year maximum prison sentence because the victim was severely injured.
The attack took place in March 2009 in Callaway near Panama City.
Circuit Judge DeDee Costello ruled a juvenile cannot be charged with neglect because only adults can be caregivers under state law.
The appeal court majority said Costello misinterpreted the law. District Judge Philip Padovano dissented, saying the law is ambiguous.