Fate of dogs and owners still in question month after deadly attack
January 7, 2018
Southern Torch (3337 articles)
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Fate of dogs and owners still in question month after deadly attack

PHOTO: A month after the deadly dog attack in Section that took the life of Emily Colvin, the fate of the dogs and the owners are still being decided in Jackson County. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor 

tyler@southerntorch.com

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — In an interview Friday, Jackson County District Attorney Jason Rupert Pierce discussed the potential criminal case in the deadly dog attack that took the life of a young woman on Sand Mountain a month ago.

Emily Colvin, 24 of Section, that was killed in a tragic dog attack on December 7th. (“Demand a Leash Law in Fort Payne, Alabama” | The Petition Site)

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. A family member of Colvin’s was was also injured in the attack when she tried to come to her aid.

Mr. 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.

In addition to criminal and civil proceedings against the owners, a third layer to the case is what fate awaits the dogs, which is still ongoing.

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.

“There was a hearing that was set on Monday; a civil case, and these are two separate things, and that hearing has been continued and it has not been reset yet,” said Pierce.

Pierce explained that the hearing last Monday was a civil case regarding the fate of the dogs that committed the attack: “Monday’s hearing just dealt with the civil aspect of it, on what to do with the dogs.”

“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.

Southern Torch

Southern Torch

Comments

  1. Berthel Hancock Moore
    Berthel Hancock Moore January 07, 16:42
    No question about it, those dogs should be put down. Why are you waiting , if you turn those dogs loose back to the owner and do nothing. God help you. My daughter got bit on the cheek by a dog 32 stitches, and that dog got put down. this Lady got killed by these dogs it would be absolutely insane to not kill them.
  2. jill mccrary
    jill mccrary January 08, 14:52
    Owning a pitbull has been a privilege in my life. The best darn dog I've ever had. But with that privilege comes great responsibility. Allowing your pitbull to roam freely or in a pack is quite frankly IRRESPOBSIBLE OWNERSHIP!!!!!!!!! Yes, the owners are liable for any damages their unsupervised dogs have caused. They will also never be able to eliminate the pain and suffering caused to that family due to that irresponsible ownership. My heart breaks for the family and for pitbulls as a breed because they are wonderful dogs in the right hands.

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