LANCASTER – A 31-year-old man whose pack of pit bulls killed a woman in Littlerock last year was sentenced Friday to 15 years to life in state prison.
Alex Donald Jackson was sentenced in an Antelope Valley courtroom for the murder of Pamela Marie Devitt – the 63-year-old woman mauled to death while out for a walk in May of 2013.
Devitt’s husband, Ben, gave an emotional victim impact statement. He said his wife was a seamstress, she decorated cakes, she played the piano and she was “hell bent on taking care of herself” – a feat accomplished through her daily morning walks.
Just days before the deadly attack, the couple had been making retirement plans. They were going to relocate to Washington to be closer to family, Ben Devitt said.
“Her story shouldn’t have ended in such a horrific way,” he said.
Still, Ben Devitt told the court that he didn’t think Alex Jackson should be jailed for life.
Court testimony also came from Vincent Jackson, who wept as he pleaded for leniency for his brother.
Alex Jackson had no reason to believe his dogs would kill Pamela Devitt, and the incident had been a “life changer” for the Jackson family, Vincent Jackson said.
“There’s no way that we can bring back Mrs. Devitt… I know that he [Alex Jackson] feels absolutely terrible about this,” Vincent Jackson said.
On May 9, 2013, Pamela Devitt was out for her daily morning walk near her Littlerock home when she was brutally attacked by four pit bulls. She sustained more than 150 puncture wounds and died of sharp force trauma, an autopsy revealed.
Hours after the attack, authorities seized six pit bulls and two mixed-breed dogs from Jackson’s Littlerock home. Four of the pit bulls had Devitt’s DNA on their fur, prompting the second-degree murder charge.
Jackson was also charged with multiple drug-related felonies in connection with a marijuana grow investigators discovered at his residence on the 37000 block of 115th Street East.
Evidence shown at trial proved that other victims had been attacked by Jackson’s pit bulls on several prior occasions. A jury on Aug. 29 found Jackson guilty of second-degree murder, cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and possession of a controlled substance.
In handing down the sentence Friday, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Lisa Chung acknowledged that the case was “fairly unusual.”
She sentenced Jackson to 15 years to life for the second-degree murder conviction and seven years for the other guilty counts, to run concurrently with the murder term.
Jackson is due back in court October 17 for a restitution hearing. He will be sent to state prison after the restitution hearing.
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