A California man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for second-degree murder in a rare murder conviction for a dog mauling.
The victim, Pamela Devitt, was out walking in the early morning of May 9, 2013 when the dogs leaped over the fence of their home and attacked her. Devitt was attacked by 8 dogs, 6 of them pitbulls bred and trained to aggressively protect their home. Devitt died from her wounds on the way to the hospital.
Prosecutors argued that the dog owner knew they were dangerous when he left them to guard his illegal marijuana – growing operation. The man had even been warned about his violent dogs because they had been involved in previous altercations before the fatal attack in 2013. The autopsy revealed Devitt had between 150-200 puncture wounds.
Although rare, murder convictions for a killing by dogs do happen. The theory behind such cases is that the dog owner/keeper was being reckless by knowing that their dog/s were dangerous enough to kill and did nothing to prevent such a killing, even without intending any harm.