LANCASTER – A trial is expected to begin in August for the owner of four pit bulls that allegedly mauled to death a 63-year-old Littlerock woman, authorities said Friday.
Alex Jackson, 30, is charged with murder and owner negligence of an animal causing death in connection with the deadly attack on Pamela Marie Devitt.
On May 9, 2013, at around 9:30 a.m., Devitt was out for a morning walk when she was attacked by a pack of large dogs near 116th Street East and Avenue S in Littlerock, sheriff’s officials said.
A motorist witnessed the attack and tried to intervene, but backed off and called authorities when the dogs began attacking her truck.
When the first deputy arrived on scene, one of the dogs was still attacking Devitt. The deputy shot at the dog, and the dog ran off into the desert.
Devitt died after being bitten 150 to 200 times.
A daylong search for the dogs led authorities to Jackson’s home in the 37300 Block of 115th Street East, where residents had reported aggressive dogs in the past.
Authorities obtained a search warrant for the home and seized several dogs from the property.
During the search, deputies also discovered a marijuana grow, and Jackson was arrested for possession of marijuana for sale.
Jackson was charged with Devitt’s murder about three weeks later, after DNA tests on his four pit bulls found Devitt’s blood on their muzzles and coats.
A preliminary hearing on the case in August 2013 included two days of graphic testimony by 12 witnesses, including a woman who witnessed the fatal mauling, another woman whose horse was attacked by Jackson’s dogs, and a mail carrier who escaped an attack while on the job.
At the conclusion of that hearing, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled there was enough evidence for Jackson to stand trial for the murder of Devitt. Jackson is also charged with cultivating marijuana; possession of marijuana for sale; possession for sale of a controlled substance; and assault with a deadly weapon.
A readiness hearing is scheduled for July 18, and jury selection is expected to begin on Aug. 18, 2014, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Jackson has been jailed since May 2013 on more than $1 million bail.
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