Pit bull owner convicted of reckless conduct

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A Bloomington woman was convicted Wednesday of reckless conduct in the October 2012 injury of a woman attacked by her pit bull.

Shalayne Doss was charged with allowing Beau, her 3-year-old dog, to attack Connie Ijams as Ijams and her husband, Scott, delivered phone books in the 1200 block of Orchard Road.

The jury deliberated about four hours Wednesday.

Doss is facing a sentence ranging from probation or court supervision to one to three years in prison.

Assistant State’s Attorney Samantha Walley said after the verdicts that “the jury understood the responsibility of dog owners in this situation and what a reasonable person would do under these circumstances.”

Defense lawyer David Rumley said he was disappointed with the jury’s decision.

When asked if he believed jurors were influenced by the graphic photos of the victim’s injuries, Rumley said, “I hope that wasn’t the case because the jury is supposed to reach a verdict without sympathy or prejudice.”

Doss testified Wednesday that she was sitting in her living room about 12 feet from the dog when she heard a thump at the door, presumably the phone book being delivered to her porch.

“Then I heard Beau bark and I heard another thump,” said Doss, referring to the sound of the dog running through the door.

When she went outside, Doss found the dog attacking the victim’s right arm. Doss said she managed to get the dog back on the porch and halfway into the door when the dog dragged her off the porch and returned to attack Ijams a second time.

Doss said she grabbed her dog by the skin and pulled him back into the house and then sat in front of the door to keep him from escaping.

Ijams testified Monday that she suffered numerous severe wounds to her arm that have left her with permanent damage.

Doss admitted during questioning by Assistant State’s Attorney Kristin Alferick that the dog had previously bitten two other people, with the most recent bite just weeks before the attack that lead to criminal charges and the dog being euthanized.

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