CHARLOTTE - A Charlotte man whose pit bull dogs fatally mauled his 8-year-old son in April pleaded guilty Monday to drug and weapons charges stemming from a search of his house after the brutal attack.

Roddie Dumas, 29, pleaded guilty in federal court to possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine and possession of firearms and ammunition by a convicted felon. Mr. Dumas entered his plea just after U.S. District Judge William Osteen rejected a defense motion that the search of Mr. Dumas’ home was illegal and the prosecution’s key evidence – guns and drugs found inside the residence – should be thrown out.

A trial on charges of using and carrying a firearm during a drug trafficking crime and intimidating and interfering with a U.S. letter carrier followed the plea. Jurors began deliberating the charges late Monday.

Two of the charges are punishable by up to life in prison. Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment.

Mr. Dumas also is charged in state court with involuntary manslaughter in connection with his son’s killing.

Roddie Dumas Jr. died when four pit bulls attacked him in the back yard of his father’s home in west Charlotte.

Michael Redice, the letter carrier Mr. Dumas is accused of intimidating, broke down Monday on the witness stand as he recalled trying to save Roddie from the attacking dogs.

"I saw four dogs mauling the child to death," Mr. Redice, wiping his eyes and hanging his head, told jurors. "I’ve never seen anything like that before in my life."

"They were biting him on his legs and neck," Mr. Redice said. "He was screaming for help. I got me a stick and jumped over the fence. I got the dogs off him."

Mr. Dumas and his girlfriend were at home at the time of the dog attack, but didn’t come out until Roddie had already been fatally injured, police and witnesses have said.

Mr. Redice told jurors that when he saw Mr. Dumas, he questioned the father about why he had not heard his son’s pleas for help.

Mr. Redice said Mr. Dumas pointed his finger at him as if holding a gun and threatened to kill him.

Under cross examination by the defense, Mr. Redice acknowledged that he was not at the residence delivering mail but rather was trying to save the child.

Mr. Dumas did not testify during his trial, and his lawyer presented no evidence.