FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Franklin County woman has pleaded not guilty to both charges of manslaughter she faces in connection to the deaths of two people earlier this year.
39-year-old Brandy Lee Dowdy was indicted on two counts of manslaughter after her dogs allegedly attacked Michelle Ann Sheeks in April. Sheeks later died due to complications from her injuries on July 12.
On April 28, Sheeks was walking near her home when her husband said she was attacked by a pack of wild dogs. Investigators say that several dogs dragged Sheeks down a hill and a neighbor got the dogs away from her before calling 911.
Sheeks suffered injuries so badly to her body that it took six surgeries and grafts to stabilize her.
Those same dogs are also accused of killing Jacqueline Summer Beard, an Alabama Department of Public Health worker that tried to follow up after the April incident. Dowdy was arrested and charged with manslaughter in connection with Beard’s death.
Dowdy also faces penalties under Emily’s Law, signed by Governor Kay Ivey in 2018, which imposes felony penalties on owners of dogs that seriously injure or kill a person depending on the circumstances surrounding the attack.
Emily’s Law, named in memory of Emily Colvin, who was killed by dogs outside her home in Jackson County in 2017, provides for felony and misdemeanor charges depending on the circumstances surrounding a dangerous dog attack.
Dowdy was set to have an arraignment on Wednesday but waived her right to the hearing along with her plea of not guilty.