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Mother and daughter found guilty in fatal pit-bull attack

A mother and daughter were found guilty Monday of involuntary manslaughter and other charges linked to the mauling death of their 75-year-old next-door neighbor by their pit bulls.

Alba Cornelio, 41, and daughter Carla, 21, had been charged in the death of their neighbor in the Paradise Hills section of San Diego.

Emaka Mendoza had both legs and her left arm amputated after being attacked by the Cornelios’ dogs in June 2011. Mendoza died Dec. 24, 2011, after multiple surgeries. The dogs had dug under a fence separating the two homes.

After the attack, the dogs were seized and destroyed by the county Department of Animal Services. The dogs had attacked another neighbor in an earlier incident, witnesses said.

A San Diego County Superior Court jury convicted mother and daughter of the involuntary manslaughter charge and ownership of a dangerous animal, both felonies, and six misdemeanors involving negligent animal ownership.

Each faces a maximum possible four years and eight months in prison when sentenced.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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