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Defendant’s Husband: Dog in Fatal Attack was ‘Great Dog’

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NEWTON,  Iowa -- The defense is now sharing its side of the story in Jena Wright's trial.

The defense started Tuesday with opening statements about Wright's character and how much she cared for Jordyn Arndt and her brother. They pointed out that Brutis had never attacked or bit another person before Arndt's attack.

The defense called several witnesses to the stand who all have testified to the dog's character and how sweet and caring of a dog he was.

"I have no reason to think Brutis was anything but a great dog," said family friend Greg Beerend.

An expert witness also testified for the defense and said he found no evidence that would suggest Wright should be concerned about Brutis being alone with children.

Wright's husband, Wes, took the stand as well. He testified that he never had any problems with Brutis and he was comfortable with the dog around his young daughter.

However, when the state cross-examined Wes, he said he didn't feel as comfortable with Brutis around other children.

The defense didn't say whether Wright will take the stand in her own defense, but they do plan to call more witnesses to the stand on Wednesday as the trial continues.

Wright is charged with child endangerment and neglect in the death of Jordyn Arndt. Police say Wright's dog attacked Arndt while she was babysitting the girl. Arndt died of her injuries the next day.

The prosecution claims Wright's dog, Brutis, was dangerous and never should have been around children.

But the defense continues to argue Brutis was not dangerous and only barked or growled when he was defending his property.

The state wrapped up its case Monday afternoon.