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Friday, 01 August 2014 15:09

Couple whose dogs killed runner appears in court, dog to be put to sleep

(LAPEER) -- Bond has been set at $500,000 for a couple charged with second-degree murder after their dogs fatally mauled a 46-year-old jogger on a rural Lapeer County road. Valbona Lucaj and husband Sebastiano Quagliata appeared in front of a Lapeer County magistrate Friday. They're also charged with possessing a dangerous animal causing death. 46-year old Craig Sytsma of Livonia was attacked July 23 in Metamora Township and later died from his injuries. The dogs involved in the deadly attack were cane corsos. The 44-year-old Lucaj is a native of Albania, while the 45-year-old Quagliata is from Italy. A federal judge in March refused to overturn a decision rejecting their application for naturalization. They have been in the U.S. since the late 1990's.

Meanwhile, the couple have agreed to have the dogs euthanized. An agreement was signed with prosecutors today. The two cane corsos involved in the deadly attack and a third one taken from their home was be put down as soon as possible. The dogs have been in custody along with eight puppies. The puppies will be offered to an animal rescue group.