Owners of Killer Dogs Convicted
ROCHEFORT, France (AP) _ The owners of a pack of pit bulls that killed an 86-year-old woman were convicted of manslaughter Tuesday, but released after the court credited them with the three months they served in jail.
The court in western France sentenced Eliane Marsaud, 38, and her son, Anthony Dutin, 21, to 18 months, with 15 months suspended, and counted the three months they spent in jail awating trial. The pair was fined a total of $60,000.
The victim, Maria Berthelot, was walking down a street in June 2000 when five pit bulls leaped through a hole in a fence and attacked. Berthelot bled to death from her wounds.
Prosecutor Yves Fliche compared the dogs to ``unpinned grenades left on the side of the street.″
An inquiry showed the animals had been left unattended in a backyard while their owners went out for lunch. DNA tests established the dogs had been responsible for Bertholet’s death.
The pair’s lawyer, Jean Piot, said he was considering and appeal.
The prosecution had asked for two-year prison terms, with one year suspended.
The animals had not been registered with city hall and were not tied up or muzzled, contrary to French law.
The dogs were destroyed a month after the attack.