Couple accused of second degree murder in dog attack back in cou - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Couple accused of second degree murder in dog attack back in court

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LAPEER COUNTY (WJRT) - (08/15/14) - The couple charged with second degree murder after their dogs attacked and killed a man were back in a Lapeer County courtroom Friday.

The couple's two dogs attacked and killed Craig Sytsma of Livonia last month in Metemora Township.

Friday, the case moved forward as the prosecution called their first witness in the preliminary exam.

Shelly Wallace is the veterinarian for the two dogs in question, Princess and Tony. She was deemed an expert witness as a veterinarian for the preliminary exam.

For the most part, her testimony dealt with her most recent appoints with the dogs that occurred in 2014.

"The dog came in already muzzled, which is not unusual, but also not common in our practice. When we tried to get a weight on her to assess how she was growing, she was very challenging and lunged at several staff members," Wallace said.

Wallace said the dogs had to be held against the wall by multiple people for her to examine them at their most recent visit.

She stated for the court that she made recommendations to the defendants that Princess and Tony be taken to a behaviorist.

"I told them that I thought the dogs were very aggressive and should see a behaviorist because that is out of my realm of expertise," Wallace said.

Wallace said Verbona Lucaj responded by telling her the dogs weren't aggressive at home.

Following her testimony, the defense asked for bail to be lowered from $500,000 cash bond for his clients.

That motion was denied.

Quagliata and Lucaj will be back in court on Aug. 29.
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