Prosecutors in Los Angeles are looking to throw the book at a man whose pack of dogs mauled a jogger to death. Today, he was charged with second-degree murder.
During a hearing today, Alex Donald Jackson sat behind a plexiglass wall while being arraigned in a Los Angeles County court.
The 29-year-old’s pit bulls allegedly were responsible for the fatal mauling of 63-year-old Pamela Devitt on May 9. Devitt was out for a jog near Jackson’s house in the Mojave Desert when she was attacked.
“It is kind of a unique situation,” Prosecutor Samantha MacDonald said today. “I don’t know that it’s been done very often. We’re just going to try to prosecute it to the full extent of the law, and I think that the evidence will speak for itself.”
MacDonald said officials decided to charge Jackson with second-degree murder, but she wouldn’t explain why. She told reporters that because it was an open case she could not reveal further information about the case against Jackson.
An L.A. County judge told Jackson today that he had a right to a preliminary hearing within 10 days. His attorney, Robert Chu, of the L.A. County Public Defender’s Office, told the court that he will need more time to review the case.
Jackson’s next hearing was scheduled for June 14. He’s being held on $1,000,050 bail.
Chu did not immediately return calls from ABCNews.com for comment.
Jackson was arrested Thursday morning after DNA tests on his dogs showed blood on their muzzles and coats matched that of Devitt. If convicted, he could face life in prison, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
An autopsy revealed that Devitt had died of blood loss attributed to sharp-force trauma. She sustained approximately 150 to 200 puncture wounds, John Corina of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Division told ABCNews.com.
When an officer arrived at the scene, one of the dogs was still mauling Devitt, Corina said. The deputy approached, and the dog ran off but soon turned around and came at the officer, he added. The deputy fired a shot and the dog ran off again, only to turn around a moment later and come at the officer a second time, according to Corina, who added the dog took off again after the officer fired a second shot.
The fence around Jackson’s property was only three to four feet high, Corina said, and the dogs could easily hop over it. He said that police found other people who had similar stories about the dogs attacking people.
Corina said that the dogs, which appeared to be of varying ages, were all fully grown. He said that they were with the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Control, and would likely be euthanized.