Woman attacked by next-door neighbor's pit bills dies - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Woman attacked by next-door neighbor's pit bills dies

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 76-year-old Paradise Hills woman who lost an arm and part of a leg following a vicious mauling by her next-door neighbor's two female pit bulls has died, authorities confirmed Tuesday.

Emako Mendoza died Christmas Eve, but it was unclear if her death stemmed from the June 18 attack.

Mendoza was attacked in the backyard of her home after she went outside to get her morning newspaper. The two pit bulls got into the victim's yard through a gap in the fence.

Her left arm had to be amputated below the elbow and her left leg amputated below the knee. She was unconscious and could not breathe on her own following the attack.

The two pit bulls and their 3-week-old puppies were euthanized after the attack.

The dogs' owners, Alba Medina Cornelio and her daughter, Carla Ramirez Cornelio, were arrested June 29 and charged with two felony counts each of having a mischievous animal that causes serious bodily injury along with six misdemeanor charges that included owning a dangerous dog.

If convicted, each faces more than three years in prison.

The District Attorney's Office will now review the case for possible additional charges with a Feb. 8 trial date pending, said spokesman Steve Walker.

Prosecutor Makenzie Harvey alleged at an earlier hearing that the pair knew the dogs were dangerous because the same two got out of the yard and attacked a man walking his puppy on Christmas 2010.

Defense attorney Donovan Dunnion said the dogs were running from a swarm of bees at the time of Mendoza's attack.

Dunnion said Tuesday that he advised his clients of Mendoza's death and they are "devastated." He called the situation "horrible."

Visitation for Emako Mendoza is scheduled Jan. 3 at the Chapel of the Roses in Bonita with funeral services the next day.

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