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Bite Blamed in Calif. Man’s Death

November 8, 2002

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MODESTO, Calif. (AP) _ The bites a woman allegedly gave her husband after he refused to have sex eventually caused his death, a pathologist has ruled.

The attack caused emotional and physical stress and aggravated Arthur Pratt’s heart disease, Dr. Jennifer Rulon concluded in an autopsy report released Wednesday.

Pratt, 65, died of an enlarged heart last month, six days after Kelli Pratt, 45, allegedly bit him, according to the report. Two bites were severe and at least 20 tooth marks were counted, police said.

``It is (Rulon’s) opinion that, but for the assault, he would still be alive today,″ police Detective Al Brocchini said.

Kelli Pratt has pleaded innocent to elder abuse, domestic violence and assault on a police officer. Police and prosecutors are discussing whether to file more serious charges against her.

Kelli Pratt’s mother said her daughter suffers from cerebral palsy and that the attack came out of her frustration in trying to take care of herself and her husband.

Arthur Pratt suffered from several ailments, including diabetes and circulation problems, and had been in and out of hospitals during the past year.

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