JACKSON COUNTY, Ala. - A Jackson County judge has ruled to euthanize four dogs that killed a woman and injured another in Section in December. The dogs had been in quarantine since the incident, and Monday was the last day for the judge to decide whether or not they would be released to their owners.
Multiple pieces of evidence were presented and witnesses addressed the stand before Judge Don Word made the decision.
"We have to show that by the preponderance of the evidence that the dogs caused the death of Emily Colvin. We also have to show that they injured Rose Frazier, who testified today," says Assistant District Attorney Brent Benson.
The court presented picture evidence, messages, maps and testimonies from both Brian and Melody Graden, the owners of the dogs, and from those representing Emily Colvin. "Well we have a number of neighbors who's been around those dog's ever since they were born. They're sweet, lovable dogs and they stay inside," says Russell Crumbley, the defendant's attorney.
While that was the story from the Gradens' side, that wasn't the case for those supporting Emily Colvin. "Today is about what the dogs did," says Benson. "Any criminal case will be about what the owner's of the dogs did or didn't do. So we're really talking about two different defendants in a way."
After a lot of consideration, Judge Don Word ruled in favor of euthanizing the four pit bull dogs, along with the expenses of impounding, feeding and vet care falling on Brian and Melody Graden.
Since Emily Colvin was killed by the animals, there could be another case coming against the Gradens. "Any death we will treat at the beginning as a criminal investigation. We will treat it as one until there isn't a reason to believe it is an ongoing criminal case," says Benson.