Mother, daughter charged in pit bull mauling of woman

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 30, 2011 8:28 PM
Mother, daughter charged in pit bull mauling of woman

SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A San Diego mother and daughter pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges stemming from an attack by their pit bulls on a 75-year-old woman that forced doctors to amputate part of her arm and leg.

Alba Medina Cornelio, 39, and her daughter Carla Ramirez Cornelio, 19, were arrested on Wednesday night, four days after authorities say two of their dogs escaped through a fence and mauled neighbor Emako Mendoza in her yard.

Both were ordered held on $350,000 bail during an arraignment in San Diego Superior Court, where they each face two felony counts of owning an animal that caused death or serious bodily injury, as well as three misdemeanors.

The defendants each face three years and eight months in prison if convicted, San Diego prosecutors say, and Alba Medina Cornelio is subject to an immigration hold while federal authorities determine if she is in the country legally.

Mendoza, 75, suffered serious injuries that forced doctors to amputate one of her legs below the knee and part of an arm, Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said.

Harvey said Mendoza was listed in serious condition at a local hospital, where she remains in a coma.

The two female pit bulls, which attacked a neighbor's dog and bit the owner in December, were euthanized after the owners surrendered them to the San Diego Department of Animal Service, authorities say.

Also put to death were 11 puppies from one of the dogs.

(Reporting by Marty Graham, Editing by Dan Whitcomb)