Pit Bull Owner Charged With Murder For Mauling Death - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Pit Bull Owner Charged With Murder For Mauling Death

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Lancaster, CA -

(FOX 11 / AP) The owner of four pit bulls that killed a woman jogger in a gruesome mauling was charged with murder Thursday in a highly unusual case that strained the memories of law enforcement officials to find comparable uses of the felony murder law.

Alex Jackson, 29, was charged after DNA tests on his dogs found blood on their muzzles and coats that matched that of Pamela Devitt, 63, who died after being bitten 150 to 200 times by his four pit bulls.

"The DNA came back with blood on the dogs that matched the victim's blood," said sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore.

Whitmore and others said it was the first dog mauling case they could recall since the 2001 trial of a San Francisco couple convicted in the death of a neighbor who was mauled by their giant dog.

Marjorie Knoller received a 15-years-to-life sentence after a jury found her guilty of second-degree murder. In rejecting her appeal, the California Supreme Court ruled that Knoller acted with a conscious disregard for human life when her 140-pound Presa Canario escaped and killed Diane Whipple in an apartment building hallway.

Knoller's husband, Noel, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

The warrant against Jackson also charges him with owner negligence of an animal causing death, said Jane Robison, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's office. He also faces charges of growing marijuana.


From Hal Eisner:

29 year old Alex Jackson, who's charged with 2nd degree murder in the death of 63 year old Pamela Divitt, walked into a glass witness booth in the Antelope Valley Courthouse for his arraignment, but instead of making a plea he asked for a continuance. 

The case revolves around a dog mauling. Investigators says Divitt was attacked by 4 pit bulls that belong to Jackson. All on the loose and, by all accounts, a vicious attack. The Coroner said she had 150 to 200 puncture wounds.

When Deputies went to his home they found what they called a pot growing operation and 8 dogs. Six were pit bulls. Four, according to the investigation, had evidence of blood in their coats.

Deputy DA Samantha Macdonald would not elaborate on the 2nd degree murder charge except to say there had been a similar case in Northern California and that it involved "implied malice." What's that I asked repeatedly. "You'll have to look it up" she'd reply. Why? She didn't want to give away much of her case.

In addition to the 2nd degree murder charge there are also those related to the pot allegations. The judge ordered him held on 1,050,000 bail and granted his request for a continuance.

His new arraignment date is June 14th.

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