Owner of dogs that killed man, woman ordered tried

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A Livingston County woman whose bulldogs fatally mauled a man and woman faces trial on manslaughter charges.

Brighton District Judge Theresa Brennan on Thursday ordered 52-year-old Diane Cockrell to stand trial. The attacks happened September 13 near her Iosco Township home, about 45 miles west-northwest of Detroit.

Manslaughter carries up to 15 years' imprisonment.

Authorities say four bulldogs attacked 91-year-old Edward Gierlach in his driveway and 56-year-old Cheryl Harper nearby.

Defense lawyer Daniel Blank says authorities haven't met the legal test of showing Cockrell knew the dogs were vicious and showed gross negligence.

The victims' families have sued Cockrell. Authorities euthanized her 10 dogs.

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