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Couple whose dogs killed runner appear in court

POSTED: August 1, 2014 10:19 a.m.

LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — Bond has been set at $500,000 for a couple charged with second-degree murder after their dogs fatally mauled a 46-year-old jogger on a rural Michigan road.

Valbona Lucaj and husband Sebastiano Quagliata appeared in front of a Lapeer County magistrate Friday. They're also charged with possessing a dangerous animal causing death.

Craig Sytsma of Livonia was attacked July 23 in Metamora Township, 45 miles northwest of Detroit. The dogs are cane corsos.

A message seeking comment was left for the couple's attorney.

The 44-year-old Lucaj is a native of Albania, while the 45-year-old Quagliata is from Italy. A federal judge in March refused to overturn a decision rejecting their application for naturalization. They have been in the U.S. since the late 1990s.


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