CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A Kanawha County man has admitted to attacking a woman during an argument last September that involved two pit bulls.

Zachary Atkinson (WVRJA)

Zachary Atkinson, 21, of Cabin Creek, pleaded guilty to a lesser felony offense of unlawful wounding during a hearing Friday before Kanawha County Circuit Judge Carrie Webster.

That means Atkinson will face a reduced prison term of 1-5 years. He was originally charged with malicious wounding following the incident on Sept. 2, 2023.

The 24-year-old woman said was attempting to walk home from a friend’s house at the Hide-A-Way Trailer Park in Cabin Creek when Atkinson approached her about owing him money. She said that’s when Atkinson beat her and ordered the two dogs to attack while he held her to the ground.

Atkinson admitted to the argument Friday, but claimed the dogs didn’t attack her on his command.

“We had got into a fight. Somewhere along in the fight, the dogs got out. As the dogs got out, we were still mid-way in the fight. She was on her way down the street and at that point in time, I had swung,” he told the judge.

Judge Webster then clarified what happened.

“So you swung and hit her, right? Then the dogs were not leashed, right? When you did it, if that’s a form of aggression, the dogs then attacked her, right?” she asked. “It was her belief that the dogs were basically called upon to do harm to her.”

Investigators said while the dogs were mauling the woman, Atkinson was beating her. The woman’s injuries were serious that required hospitalization, Webster said.

“We know in this case the victim had serious injuries would not be disputing from bites from a dog that were multiple,” she said.

The entire incident was captured on a security camera. Videos and photos were previously shown in court during a preliminary hearing last year.

Atkinson remains in the South Central Regional Jail. He will be sentenced April 11 at 2 p.m.