PHOTO: Brian and Melody Graden (43 and 45 of Section) were arrested on charges of Negligent Homicide and 4 counts each of failing to vaccinate the animals involved in the December 7th, 2017 attack that killed Emily Colvin. (Jackson County Sheriff's Office)
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
SECTION, Ala. — The owners of the dogs that attacked and killed a Section woman are behind bars today.
Both are charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide and four counts each of, "Failure to vaccinate cat/dog for rabies."
24-year-old Colvin was killed by a pack of dogs while retrieving a package on December 7, 2017 at her home located in Jackson County; near the County line between Section and Rainsville.
The attack involved 5 dogs, which were described as, “pit bull dogs.” One of the animals had to be euthanized by the Jackson County Animal Control Officer when he arrived on scene. The other four animals were put down in February, after the opportunity for appeal by the owners ran out.
A few weeks ago, Governor Kay Ivey signed into law "Emily's Law," which gives a criminal statute to address owners of animals that maim and kill. Fortunately for Colvin's family, Jackson County already had a law on the books which allowed for the Graden's prosecution. Emily's Law now makes these same penalties apply statewide.
“Jackson County already has a law on the books regarding this, and I’m glad it’s going statewide,” said Jackson County District Attorney Jason Pierce in an earlier article, regarding the new law. “It gives us a criminal statute to address it. It gives the courts the ability to designate animals who attack, ‘dangerous dogs’ and have them put down if they harm a human, such as what happened in this case.”
“If we did not have this law, Mrs. Colvin’s case would be more difficult,” explained Pierce.