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Friend of woman killed by dogs not happy with owners' punishment

A Jackson County couple has pleaded guilty after their dogs attacked and killed a woman in December, but one of the woman's friends says their punishment isn't enough.

Posted: May 16, 2018 6:47 PM

A friend of Emily Colvin is speaking out after learning the punishment a Jackson County couple faces after their dogs attacked and killed her friend.

Back in December, Emily Colvin was killed by the dogs in her own front yard in Section.

This week, the owners of those dogs pleaded guilty.

“I was hoping just for both of the owners to get the fullest amount of punishment that they could get, but it doesn’t look like that happened," said Tiger Frazier.

Frazier was friends with Emily Colvin—the woman who was attacked and killed by her neighbors’ dogs back in December.

And although the couple who owned the dogs pleaded guilty, Frazier believes their punishment isn’t enough.

“They’re just getting, basically, a slap on the wrist, Frazier said. "I don’t think it’s fair.”

Brian Graden pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide and received a twelve-month sentence.

His wife, Melody Graden, pleaded guilty to four counts of not vaccinating her dogs. She got a little less than a year behind bars.

They will both be on supervised probation for two years, will not be allowed to have a dog, and are responsible for court costs and restitution.

But Frazier believes they’re getting off easy.

“If people see them in the street, they’re just going to be disliked because they know that they didn’t get the punishment that they deserved," Frazier said. "It didn’t end like everybody was hoping it would end.”

“Emily’s Law”—created after Colvin’s death and named for her--enforces harsher penalties if a dog bites someone.

It doesn’t go into effect until June, meaning the Gradens won’t be affected by it, which is something Fraizer says many people will not be happy to hear.

“That’s just going to make a lot of people more mad, knowing that it was just this close for them to have a more harsh punishment than they do now," Frazier said.

Overall, Frazier says she just hopes that Emily’s family is happy with the plea deal.

“Personally, I would want more punishment for the people that killed my significant other or family member or anything like that," said Frazier. "I would hope that my family would want more for me, if it was me."

Officials tell WAAY 31 the pleas were approved by Colvin’s widower, Eric Colvin.

And Frazier tells me she hopes “Emily’s Law” will keep tragedies like this one from happening again.

WAAY 31 reached out to Jackson County Animal Control and learned that they’ve already taken classes on “Emily’s Law” and are expected to have more training before it goes into effect.

They tell WAAY 31 they think the new law is a great idea, and they’re more than ready to enforce it.

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