Couple charged with second degree murder after dog attack back i - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Couple charged with second degree murder after dog attack back in court

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LAPEER COUNTY (WJRT) - (08\06\14) - The couple charged with second degree murder after their dogs attacked and killed a man were back in court Wednesday.

Their two Cane Corsos killed Craig Sytsma of Livonia last month in Metemora Township.

A scheduling hearing was on the books for Wednesday afternoon, but the defense attorneys came to the Lapeer courtroom with a motion in hand.

"$100,000 and to be placed on a tether. I will probably address it at every court hearing until my clients are out," said Jason Malkiewicz.

That is what both defense attorneys asked for their clients Wednesday.

Original bond was set at $500,000 a piece for their clients.

This is something Lapeer County Assistant Prosecutor, Michael Hodges, says is for good reason.

"I am very worried about the flight risk, as I stated in court, so that is the key here. We want to make sure they face the charges guilty, not guilty, whatever it may be as long as we have a fair day in court," Hodges said.

The legal status of both Sebastiano Quagliata and Verbona Lucaj has come up since the deadly attack. This is something the prosecution is concerned with in regards to the couple being a so-called "flight risk."

"The prosecutor keeps indicating that my client and his wife were attempting to flee the country, which is absolutely a ridiculous argument," Malkiewicz said.

The judge denied the reduced bond request, which means the couple will remain in jail until their next hearing, scheduled for Aug.15.

Malkiewicz tells ABC12 News that his clients remain hopeful despite the disappointing news.

"They realize that they're serious charges, but these are also very defendable charges," Malkiewicz said.

The two dogs involved in the attack, plus another related adult dog, have been put down. The eight puppies related to the adult dogs remain at the Lapeer County Animal Control.

Assistant Prosecutor Michael Hodges tells us they are working to find a suitable rescue organization to help rehabilitate the puppies to potentially be adopted out.
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