Judge orders trial for women accused in fatal pit bull attack - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Judge orders trial for women accused in fatal pit bull attack

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A mother and daughter were ordered Monday to stand trial on involuntary manslaughter and other charges in the death of their 75-year-old next-door neighbor, who was attacked six months ago by their two pit bulls in her backyard.

Alba Cornelio, 40, and her 20-year-old daughter, Carla, each face up to four years and eight months in prison if convicted, said Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey.

After a daylong preliminary hearing, Judge Charles Gill ordered the defendants to stand trial on the manslaughter charge, a felony count of owning a mischievous animal causing death and six misdemeanor code violations, including failing to protect the public from a dog and owning a dangerous dog.

The manslaughter charge was added three weeks after Emako Mendoza died of complications from the June 18 attack at her Paradise Hills home. She was 76 when she died on Christmas Eve.

According to previous court testimony, Emako Mendoza was attacked in her fenced-in yard when she went outside to get the morning paper. The victim's left arm had to be amputated below the elbow and her left leg amputated below the knee. Doctors later amputated her right leg.

Witnesses testified that the pit bulls got through a gap in the fence, ripping a hole near a metal gate that the victim had installed to bridge the gap in the fence between the two properties.

Harvey alleged the defendants knew they had dangerous dogs because the same pit bulls escaped from their yard on Christmas Day 2010 and attacked a man who was walking his puppy. The dog suffered a broken jaw and the man was bitten.

The judge, in binding the defendants over for trial, said he had reservations whether prosecutors could prove the charge of involuntary manslaughter beyond a reasonable doubt. Arraignment was set for May 7.

 

 

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