PHOTO: On Monday, the time for appeal expired for the four dogs involved in the fatal attack in Section in early December. Yesterday morning, the dogs were euthanized. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)
By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor
SECTION, Ala. — Yesterday, the four remaining dogs involved in the December fatal attack of Emily Colvin were put down, according the Jackson County District Attorney's Office.
"The time for appeal expired (Monday) at 4:30 pm. The defendants did not appeal Judge Word’s decision declaring the 4 pit bull dogs dangerous and ordering them euthanized," read the statement from Jason Pierce, Jackson County District Attorney.
"According to the local animal control officers, the 4 pit bull dogs that killed Mrs. Emily Colvin and seriously injured Mrs. Rose Frazier were euthanized (yesterday) morning around 8:30 am," said the statement. "It is my hope and prayer that this brings some amount of closure for the victims and their families so they can begin to heal from this horrible tragedy."
Emily Colvin (24 of Section) was killed by five dogs near her home while retrieving a package around 9 am on Thursday, December 7th. The dogs were described as “pit bulls” by Jackson County Sheriff Chuck Phillips after the incident. Mrs. Rose Frazier was was also seriously injured in the attack when she tried to come to Colvin's aid.
One of the offending dogs had to be “euthanized,” by Jackson County Animal Control Deputy Billy Ray Adkins when he arrived on the scene after the dog displayed aggressive behavior towards a deputy. The remaining four dogs were captured and are still being held by animal control.
In an early January interview, Jackson County District Attorney Rupert Pierce explained that his office is in the middle of gathering evidence for a potential criminal case regarding the owners.
“We are going to evaluate the case for possible presentation to the grand jury,” said Pierce.
While a potential civil case against the owners only requires an attorney to prove the animals were dangerous to hold them liable, a criminal case requires prosecutors to prove to a jury that a human is responsible for the actions of it’s animal in some way.
In other words, it has to be proven that the owners intentionally had their dogs attack Colvin, or that there was reckless or negligent conduct that lead to the attack. This adds another layer of complexity to the situation.
“The criminal case will be filed when we make a decision as to whether or not we have enough evidence to go to the grand jury or not,” said Pierce.
Rachel Abrams, Aunt of Colvin, spoke at the December 19th (2017) meeting of the Fort Payne City Council to discuss the need for expanded leash laws in Fort Payne.
Abrams also has started an online petition, regarding the issue.