Pit Bull Owners Convicted in Deadly Attack

Emako Mendoza, 75, died from her injuries six months after the 2011 attack

Jurors convicted pit bull owners of manslaughter in the death of a 75-year-old San Diego woman attacked in her backyard by two dogs.

Alba Cornelio and her daughter, Carla Cornelio were convicted Monday on all charges including of involuntary manslaughter and death from a mischievous animal.

After the conviction was announced, Alba was so upset by the verdict, she had to be transported in an ambulance. 

Emako Mendoza, 75, was attacked June 18, 2011 when she stepped outside her home to get the newspaper.

Mendoza suffered a heart attack and her left arm and leg had to be amputated. Still hospitalized six months later, she died on Christmas Eve.

The judge read the verdict at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

The Mendoza’s Paradise Hills home shared a side fence with the home where the pit bulls were kept.

The dogs, which belonged to the victim's neighbor, entered the yard through a hole in the fence according to officials.

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

The Cornelios previously faced other criminal charges including serious bodily injury from a mischievous animal, failure to provide public protection from dogs, owning or having custody of a dangerous animal/dog causing injury and failure to restrain a dog.

Prosecutors argued 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 defense countered saying the dogs had never attacked another human being before the attack on Mendoza.

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

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