No Plea Deal Offered for Diane Cockrell
Livingston County, MI - In what many people refer to as a "multiple homicide," prosecutor David Morse has refused to place a plea bargain on the table for Diane Cockrell.
Police say on September 13, 2007 four American bulldogs belonging to 52-year-old Cockrell, of Fowlerville, mauled to death Edward Gierlach, who lived in Fowlerville, at his cottage on Crofoot Road in Iosco Township, and Cheryl Harper while taking a walk along the same road.
Ms. Cockrell now faces two felony charges of owning dangerous animals causing the deaths of Edward Gierlach and Cheryl Harper. An expert recently testified at a preliminary hearing that bite marks matched impressions of four dogs identified by name as Cowgirl, Cheyenne, Millie and Bozo.
Defense disputes bite evidence:
The attorney representing a Mr. Cockrell, Daniel Blank of Bingham Farms, intends to challenge the reliability of canine bite mark evidence. He claims the evidence lacks scientific reliability. Apparently bite mark evidence from humans has been discredited at least twice in the similar cases in the Detroit Metro area over the past five years.
07/27/08: Coverage of the Double Dog Attack Fatalities in Livingston