In April 2013, Jena Wright was babysitting 4-year-old Jordyn Arndt when she allegedly left the little girl alone with her American Staffordshire terrier, named Brutus. The dog mauled and killed Jordyn.
Wright is facing 35 years in prison on charges of child endangerment and neglect of a dependent person. She has also been charged with interference with official acts and assault on a police officer — the police alleged she kicked an officer in the chest during her arrest.
The trial of Wright, a 26-year-old from Prairie City, Iowa, started on May 7 and Jordyn’s mother, Jessica, took the stand. She said she’d known Wright for 15 years before the attack and that they went to school together.
Jason Arndt, Jordyn’s father, told KCCI, "Justice needs to be served, it's been too long, too long.” He believes Wright will be convicted. "She's been out the past two years being able to be with her family and being with her daughter. The only time I get to see Jordyn is in my sleep, in my dreams. It's not the same. I wake up and I'm in tears," he said.
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In the prosecution’s opening statement, the attorney claimed the dog had shown aggressive behavior before Jordyn’s death. Brutus reportedly attacked another dog and Wright’s neighbor said he kept a bat in his garage to defend himself against Brutus.
Jason now wears a necklace with his daughter’s hand print and thumbprint at all times. "It never comes off — shower with it, sleep with it can't take it off,” he said.
The trial is expected to last six days.
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Image via KCCI