Jackson County dog owners plead guilty in fatal dog attack case


The owners of dogs involved in a fatal attack in Jackson County in December have pleaded guilty to various charges.

On December 7th, 2017, 24-year-old Emily Mae Colvin was killed when she was attacked by at least five on Co. Rd. 121 in Jackson County.

A friend who tried to help her was also injured.

The dogs’ owners, Brian Keith Graden and Melody Justice Graden, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges related to the attack.

According to Jackson County ADA M. Brent Benson, Mr. Graden pleaded guilty to Criminally Negligent Homicide, as charged by the Grand Jury, and received a 12 month sentence, the maximum for a Class A misdemeanor, and is split to serve 48 days in the county jail with jail credit for the 32 days he has served. He will be on supervised probation with the State Probation office for 2 years and he will have to undergo Court Referral Evaluations and monitoring and shall not own or keep dogs for the duration of his probation. Also, he is responsible for court costs and restitution for expenses Mr. Colvin has incurred as a result of Emily’s death. 

Mrs. Graden pleaded guilty to 4 counts of failing to obtain rabies vaccination for the dogs. Her sentence was 90 days on each count, running consecutively for a total of 360 days. She has 2 years of probation supervised by the Community Corrections Office and has the same CRO and no dogs conditions on her probation. She will also be responsible for court costs and restitution. 

Eric Colvin, the widower of Emily Colvin, approved the plea deal.

Four of the five dogs were euthanized in February. The fifth was killed by law enforcement at the time of the attack.

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