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Pit bull owner charged with murder.

A California man stands accused of murder in conjunction with the violent mauling death of a 63 year-old woman. The 63-year-old woman died after being bitten somewhere between 150 and 200 times. Police used DNA evidence gathered from four pit bulls to charge the 29-year-old Californian. The investigation revealed DNA evidence on the dog's muzzles and coats that matched the blood of the 63-year-old victim.

Eyewitness accounts saw the pit bulls attacking the 63 year-old runner. Local law enforcement also saw one of the dogs attacking the victim and tried to chase the dog away. The dog ran off and then returned to attack the officer. The officer attempted to shoot the dog as it ran away. Hours after the incident, authorities served a warrant upon the residence of the 29-year-old man. Police seized the dogs after conducting the search

This case presents a criminal law concept called the felony murder rule. The felony murder rule applies when a victim is killed during the commission of a felony. The 29-year-old man was served with a warrant that accuses him of animal owner negligence causing the death of another. Those negligence charges may stem from the dogs failing to be licensed, spayed or neutered as required by state law. Normally, prosecutors must prove that a criminal defendant knowingly or purposefully caused the death of another person. Prosecutors may circumvent that requirement with the felony murder rule by proving the criminal defendant caused the felony to occur in order to get a homicide conviction.

Murder charges are very serious and carry a high standard of proof at trial. Prosecutors need to prove the murder charges beyond a reasonable doubt. The attorney for the defendant may try to disprove the underlying felony or get the charges reduced to a lesser crime. Here this defendant is in dire need of adequate legal representation from an experienced attorney.

Source: Daily News, "Pit bull owner charged with murder for California mauling death Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/pit-bull-owner-charged-murder-california-mauling-death-article-1.1359513#ixzz2UtCUVCpg", May 31, 2013

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