Share “Couple whose dogs killed runner appear in...”

Couple whose dogs killed runner appear in court

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 1, 2014 at 11:55 am •  Published: August 1, 2014
Advertisement

LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — A couple charged with second-degree murder after their dogs fatally mauled a Michigan jogger each face $500,000 bond.

Lapeer County prosecutors wanted $1 million, saying Valbona Lucaj and husband Sebastiano Quagliata might flee the country. But Magistrate Mike Delling settled on a lower amount Friday, noting there's "some question" about the couple's status in the U.S.

It wasn't immediately known if the couple could pay the bond and get out of jail or arrange payment through a bond agency. Message seeking comment were left for the couple's attorney.

Craig Sytsma of Livonia was attacked July 23 in Metamora Township, 45 miles northwest of Detroit. The dogs are cane corsos.

"It's a horrible tragedy ... but animal cases get a lot of attention," assistant prosecutor Michael Hodges said outside court.

Lucaj, 44, a native of Albania, and Quagliata, 45, a native of Italy, have had a long-running legal battle with federal immigration officials after arriving here in the late 1990s.

Lucaj was named in a bribery scandal involving an immigration official in New York, although she wasn't charged. The government said she and other immigrants paid a middleman to ensure they would be granted asylum.

Continue reading this story on the...