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No recovery for dog mauling death

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

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