A Rockholds PIT BULL owner must pay $330 in fines and court costs but will get to keep her dog after pleading guilty Tuesday to harboring a vicious animal.
“It could have been worse,” said Tonya Bell, noting the court could have ordered the 10-month-old pit bull seized and destroyed.
As part of the plea agreement, Bell agreed to install a seven-foot-high fence behind their home on Tye’s Ferry Road.
“I have an electric fence right now, but I will be getting the other fence up,” Bell said.
The victim in the case, Janice Manning, and her husband, Conley, appeared in court Tuesday but did not say anything during the proceedings.
When District Court Judge Fred White initially called the case, it appeared it may be headed for trial.
County Attorney Bob Hammons offered the fine, court costs and fence provision if Bell would plead guilty to the charge. In addition, the agreement calls for a 30-day probated jail sentence, which Bell must serve if the dog gets out again.
Bell’s attorney, Adam Howard, objected to the agreement.
White responded that he would set the case for a jury trial in approximately two weeks.
Howard asked for the opportunity to speak with Bell and when the case was recalled, Bell accepted the deal.
The incident that resulted in the charge occurred on March 23.
Janice Manning was throwing a Frisbee with a young nephew in her yard when she was bitten by the pit bull.
According to county officials, the Frisbee went over into Bell’s yard. When someone at the residence threw the Frisbee back, the dog followed it and bit Manning on the right calf, ripping off a four-inch diameter portion of skin.
When Bell called the dog it reportedly returned home.
Conley Manning said previously that he had spoken with Bell and she agreed to build a lot behind their home for the dog.
Attorney BJ Foley is representing the Mannings in the lawsuit in response to the incident.