A Spotsylvania County family left the courthouse empty handed yesterday after a jury refused to blame animal control officers for the brutal dog mauling death of an 82-year-old woman.
Represented by Charlottesville’s Tom Albro, the family contended that the county officers knew about repeated problems with a woman’s pit bull terriers running at large but failed to take proper action to prevent harm.
The officers, represented by Salem’s Jim Guynn, argued the evidence failed to show gross negligence — the standard needed to overcome sovereign immunity. The jury evidently agreed.
The dog owner — who was not named in the civil lawsuit — was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and served a three-year sentence.
By Peter Vieth