The owner of a German Shepherd that bit a neighbor has been found guilty in the case -- and that could be bad news for her dog, who could be sentenced to death.
Municipal Court Judge Mike Graber will decide what happens to Rolo and his owner. The dog could be euthanized or ordered to undergo retraining. Sentencing is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m.
A six-member jury handed down that verdict in an Arvada municipal courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
Rolo attacked a neighbor who was out walking with her son last summer.
The dog's owner, Laura Hagan, asked for a jury trial to determine if her pet is dangerous. She was appealing an order by the judge to euthanize Rolo.
Hagan was found guilty of having an animal running at large and having a dangerous animal. She could be sentenced to jail time, a fine, or training for her dog.
The victim, Kathy Hardin, took the stand Monday and said she was crossing the street with her 14-month-old son, who was just learning how to walk, when the two dogs started charging at her.
She said she picked up her son and turned her back away from the dogs to shield him when one of the dogs bit her in the behind. Pictures of her injuries after the attack were passed to the jury of five men and one woman, who were selected Monday from a pool of 27 potential jurors.
The defense attorney argued that Hardin screamed at the dogs and wondered if her screams provoked the attack.
"I think that's insane," Hardin said. She said that any person in her position -- who was holding a toddler while two dogs charge at her -- would be screaming.
On Tuesday, the defense rested its case and the jury got the case by 11 a.m.
Animal experts have been monitoring Rolo's behavior since he was placed in confinement following the attack, which took place near West 57th Avenue and Zephyr Street on July 1.
The story has attracted local attention, including rallies by supporters who don't want Rolo put down. Hagan's supporters said Rolo is a good dog.
"He's a wonderful dog," said next door neighbor Linda Balczarek. "He loves to pick up rocks, he loves to play."
Balczarek said when Hardin and her son were walking, Rolo got out of his yard and ran toward them.
"The minute she saw Rolo she started screaming," Balczarek said. "Well, Rolo's the type of dog that when you scream he's going to jump at you to find out what's the matter."
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