Mother, Daughter to Stand Trial in Pit Bull Attack

Women face more than 3yrs in prison if convicted

By Joseph Young
|  Saturday, Sep 10, 2011  |  Updated 2:36 PM PDT
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The Pit Bull Debate: Safe or Dangerous?

Emako Mendoza, 75, was fighting life-threatening injuries after being attacked by two pit bulls in Paradise Hills on June 18.

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Husband of Pit Bull Attack Victim Speaks

James Mendoza said his wife, Emako, likely lost a leg and will possibly lose an arm after being attacked by two pit bulls on the morning of June 18.

The Pit Bull Debate: Safe or Dangerous?

Some San Diegans are wondering what, if anything, should be done about recent violent dog attacks involving pit bulls and a boxer. Should the pit bull breed be banned as they are in Denver, Colorado? Mari Payton reports.
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A mother and daughter will stand trial after their two pit bulls allegedly attacked a 75-year-old woman in Paradise Hills, a Judge ruled Friday.

Enough evidence was presented against Alba Medina Cornelio, 39, and her 19-year-old daughter, Carla Ramirez Cornelio, to stand trial, said Judge Yvonne Campos after a two-day preliminary hearing.

The women face felony counts including having a mischievous animal that causes serious bodily injury and six misdemeanor code violations, including failing to protect the public from a dog and owning a dangerous dog, officials said.

If convicted, the women may face more than three years in prison.

The case centers around an attack that happened on June 18, when Emako Mendoza was allegedly attacked by the two dogs in her yard as she went to get a newspaper in the early morning.

Mendoza reportedly had her left arm amputated below the elbow and her left leg amputated below the knee after the attack.

"I got up and walked outside and they had already attacked my wife," said James Mendoza, the victim’s husband, in an interview shortly after the attack, "she was laying there bleeding."

Witnesses testified that the pit bulls got through a gap in the fence, ripping a hole near a metal gate that the victim had installed to bridge the gap in the fence between the two properties.

As they attacked Mendoza, she had a heart attack, according to her husband.

After the attack the two pit bulls, along with their three-week old puppies, were euthanized by animal service officers once Alba Cornelio gave her consent.

Prosecutor Makenzie Harvey alleged the defendants knew they had dangerous dogs because the same two pit bulls escaped from their yard last Christmas Day and attacked a man who was walking his puppy. The puppy suffered a broken jaw and the man was bitten, according to City News Service.

The Defense attorney in the case, Donovan Dunnion, argued that the dogs never hurt another human being before the attack on Mendoza, claiming that the dogs were running away from a swarm of bees at the time of the attack.

Prosecutor Harvey said there was no evidence the dogs were stung by bees.

A Superior Court arraignment for the two women was set for Sept. 22, when a trial date
could be set.

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