The admitted prostitute, Joetta Darmstadter (aka Joetta Barrios), 32, and her housemate and the dogs' co-owner, Wilbur Rutledge, 34, are on trial on charges of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Dr. William G. Eckman, 67.
Prosecutors were expected to wrap up their case late Monday or early Tuesday. They have been barred by Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert M. Brown from presenting animal behavior experts who tested the dogs after the attack and found them to be vicious.
LaDonna Donovan testified that Eckman, of suburban Kettering, had moved in with her and her three children. She said she found his wallet in the trunk of his car about a month after the April 6 attack.
Tucked behind the lining was a piece of paper with ''Joe 275-6555'' written on it, she said. There was no money in the wallet, she said, although bank records show Eckman had withdrawn $25 shortly before the attack.
Ms. Donovan said she called the number. ''I asked if Joetta was there and the lady that answered the phone said, 'This is Joetta.' And then I hung up,'' she said.
Prosecutors are trying to show that Ms. Darmstadter and Rutledge knew the dogs were vicious before the attack and that Eckman was a regular customer of Ms. Darmstadter's and was in the house for sex when he was attacked.
Defense lawyers claim Eckman was told by Ms. Darmstadter to go away but slipped into the house and was attacked when he opened the door to a bedroom where the dogs had gone.
Ms. Donovan is the sole beneficiary of an estate she said was worth about $20,000 left by Eckman, a retired chief of staff at St. Elizabeth Medical Center and chief of surgery at the Dayton Veterans Administration Hospital.
She said she knew Eckman saw a psychiatrist and that before he lived with her he provided $13,000 over six weeks to a prostitute. Defense lawyer Daniel O'Brien said Eckman had given $500,000 to a prostitute before that.
Prosecutors have presented evidence that Eckman often withdrew from $25 to $100 from his bank account, although Ms. Donovan said she rarely saw him spend much money.
From the book "Pit Bull: The Battle over
an American Icon" by Bronwen Dickey
(AP - Oct 12, 1987)