One Year for Dog Attack
UPDATE 03/13/09: Travis Dean Cunningham was sentenced to 11.5 years in prison. After sending an email to the King County Prosecutor's Office, we learned that the defendant faced 5 years for the Possession of a Firearm charge and the Dangerous Dog charge* added a year to that sentence (the DD charge did not stand on its own) making it 6 years total. He then received 5 years for a parole violation for a previous offense that made it illegal for him to possess a gun in the first place.
*It was determined that one of the two dogs was the primary aggressor, so he was only charged with one count of Possession of a Dangerous Dog.
02/10/09: Pit Bull Owner Pleads Guilty
A SeaTac man has pleaded guilty to possessing a dangerous dog after his two pit bulls mauled an elderly woman near her home last year. Prosecutors are recommending more than 11 years in prison for Travis Dean Cunningham, who also pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm. "This was a case of dangerous dogs and a dangerous owner," said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg in a press release. Sentencing is set for March 13.
11/07/08: Multiple Charges; 13 Years in Jail
SeaTac, WA - The owner of two pit bulls that mauled an elderly SeaTac woman in September, leaving her with a number of injuries, was charged today with possession of a dangerous dog, a felony crime. Huong Le, 71-years old, was on her way back from walking her granddaughter to a school bus stop when she was attacked by the dogs. She suffered severed ears, a crushed arm and deep, bite wounds from her head to her feet. Her recovery continues.
Prosecutors have also charged the dog owner, Travis Cunningham, 36, with one count of first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm and one count of possession of a stolen firearm. If convicted on all three charges, Cunningham faces almost 13 years in prison. A neighbor who witnessed the attack called 911 and grabbed a pitchfork in an attempt to help Le. When King County sheriff's deputies arrived the animals were still attacking the woman.
The deputies shot and killed the pit bulls.
John Makus, who was raised by Le, said she is struggling in her recovery but believes she'll be happy with the news. "You have to give a lot of credit to the detective and the prosecuting attorney for conducting an exhaustive investigation in pursuit of justice," Makus said. "Let this be the shining symbol to dog owners if they don't comply with the laws to keep their animals fenced and muzzled." Makus said he plans to talk with legislators about a statewide breed ban.
09/26/08: Owner of SeaTac Pit Bull Attack Arrested
09/10/08: 2 Pit Bulls Killed After Mauling 71-Year Old SeaTac Woman
09/13/08: Coverage of the Seattle Area Pit Bull Attack and Activism