Pit Bull Owners to Stand Trial in Fatal Dog Attack

Alba Cornelio, 39, and Carla Cornelio, 19 face prison time for their dogs' attack on a neighbor

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    NBCSanDiego
    Emako Mendoza suffered from her injuries according to her husband.

    A San Diego mother and daughter whose pit bulls attacked and killed a neighbor will stand trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter and other crimes.

    Two pit bulls attacked Emako Mendoza, 76, on June 18 as she went outside to get the morning  paper.

    Mendoza later suffered a heart attack, lost her left arm and leg and died on Christmas Eve from complications of her injuries.

    Her husband of 54 years, James, said Mendoza had been through a terrible ordeal.

    2 Women Deny Charges in Dog Attack

    [DGO] 2 Women Deny Charges in Dog Attack
    Alba Cornelio, 39, and her 19-year-old daughter, Carla, never wanted to hurt anybody, defense attorney Donovan Dunnion said. The two could spend three years and eight months in prison and are each being held on $350,000 bail.

    “You wouldn’t imagine something like that would happen in your own private backyard,” he told NBCSanDiego after his wife's death. “She thought she was safe.”

    Alba Cornelio, 39, and Carla Cornelio, 19, were taken into custody by county animal control officers less than two weeks after the attack.

    The two pit bulls, along with their three-week old puppies, were euthanized by animal service officers.

    An attorney for the Cornelios has called the accident unforeseen and unavoidable.

    However, prosecutors say the Cornelios knew the dogs were dangerous because they'd previously escaped and attacked a man.

    The mother and daughter will face up to four years and eight months in prison if convicted.

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