The owners of the dogs that killed a 24 year old northeast Alabama woman in December of last year (2017) have both entered pleas of guilty, however, to different charges. Brian Keith Graden and Melody Ann Graden owned the five dogs that mauled Emil Colvin to death in front of her home in Section in the same attack that injured another woman.
The Gradens were indicted on the charge of Criminally Negligent Homicide, and four counts each of Failure to Immunize a Dog. Brian Graden entered a plea of guilty to the charge of Criminally Negligent Homicide, which is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail, and was sentenced to one-year, split to serve 48 days including time served. He will be required to serve two years probation or serve the remainder of his one year jail sentence. Melody Graden pled guilty to four counts of Failure to Immunize and she was sentenced to 90 days for each charge, but that sentence was suspended pending two years of successful probation.
Four of the dogs will be euthanized; the fifth was shot and killed by law enforcement on the day of the attack.
This incident led to Alabama lawmakers passing a bill that could impose felony charges on the owners of dogs that seriously injure or kill someone. The Gradens weren’t charged under that bill, which is called “Emily’s Law” – due to the fact that it was passed after Colvin’s death.