Woman acquitted of manslaughter by negligence charges

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Updated: June 30, 2015

Thirty-one year old Shelda Patnett, a store clerk of Tropical Park, Hattieville, charged with manslaughter by negligence, was acquitted of the charge today in the court of Justice John Gonzalez. It was alleged by the Crown that on May 31, 2010, two dogs purportedly owned by Patnett, bit 65 year old Edmund Spain.   Spain was bitten on his right hand and he succumbed to his injuries five days later at Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital. The prosecution called nine witnesses to prove that Patnett was negligent and that she was the owner of the dogs. But there was no evidence of negligence and there was no evidence that Patnett was the owner of the dogs. In addition to that there was no evidence that Patnett resided at the house where the dogs were.  A statement given to the police by Spain while he was in the hospital was admitted as evidence. In the statement Span said he was walking to his house and while he was passing his neighbor’s yard he heard the dogs barking and they attacked him. Spain said one of the dogs bit him on his right arm and he fell to the ground and lost consciousness. After the prosecution closed its case, Patnett’s attorney, Dickie Bradley, submitted that Patnett did not have a case to answer to. After hearing response from Crown Counsel Kileru Awich, Justice Gonzalez upheld the no case submission and acquitted Patnett. Tomorrow Patnett will be formally acquitted by a jury of 7 men and 2 women.