No charges for owner of mule that kicked girl, 9

Combined ShapeCaption
Cherokee County girl continues to recover after being kicked by mule

The owner of the mule that kicked a 9-year-old girl in the head will not face criminal charges, the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office said Thursday.

“No negligence was found, and it was just an unfortunate accident,” Alexa Huston, spokeswoman for the Marshal’s Office, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Emma Johnson was critically injured Tuesday while she and her mother tried to corral two wayward mules into a neighbor's pasture on Green Drive, north of Canton. Emma was carrying a bucket of feed to help lure the animals when she was kicked in the head and knocked unconscious, investigators said.

Emma was flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston, where she remained Thursday. Her family has requested privacy.

Neighbor Thomas Ross said Tuesday that Emma rides horses and is used to being around large animals, but may have scared one of the mules when she ran up behind it.

“She probably didn’t think a thing about it,” Ross said. “She was running and carrying a plastic feed bucket.”

Investigators believe heavy rain may have caused a portion of Tim Byess’ fence to wash away, allowing the two mules to leave their pasture.