Owner re-sentenced in fatal pit bull attack
VISTA, Calif. — A woman whose two pit bulls attacked her 75-year-old next-door neighbor in Paradise Hills, resulting in the victim’s death six months later, was re-sentenced Thursday to credit for time served.
Carla Cornelio, now 23, was convicted in 2013 of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Emako Mendoza and was sentenced to four years in prison.
Last December, a state appeals court overturned the manslaughter conviction and ordered that Cornelio be re-sentenced on two counts of owning an animal that killed a human being.
Thursday, Vista Superior Court Judge Richard Whitney sentenced Cornelio to three years and eight months in custody, time she’s already served. The defendant had already been released from custody on Feb. 7.
During trial, Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey argued that Cornelio and her mother, Alba, knew their pit bulls were dangerous and didn’t do enough to shore up a hole in the fence between the two properties.
The victim suffered more than 50 dog bites in her backyard the morning of June 18, 2011. She died of complications from the injuries on Christmas Eve of that year.
Alba Cornelio, 41, was convicted of the same charges as her daughter but died of natural causes a month after the trial.