Jenna Allen is charged with one count of first-degree reckless endangerment - a Class A misdemeanor - related to the Dec. 3, 2014, dog attack that left Canterbury resident Lynne Denning severely injured and scarred.
Allen, of Putnam Road in the Wauregan section of town, rejected a plea in February that would have required her to spend a month in jail if she pleaded guilty to second-degree reckless endangerment. As part of the deal, Allen would have had to agree to pay $430 in fines for several nuisance dog and failure to comply with dog licensing requirement infractions.
If convicted at trial, Allen could be sentenced to up to a year in prison and be responsible for paying an undisclosed amount in fines.
Prosecutors said Allen opted for a bench trial, in which a judge, instead of a jury, hears evidence and makes a ruling of guilty or not guilty. Evidence will be presented Monday and the case will resume Wednesday. The trial is expected to last though the week.
On the day of the dog attack, Denning, a home health aide, said she was sitting with Allen’s grandmother in an upstairs room when one of Allen’s six dogs, a 130-pound male Rottweiler named Phoenix, attacked her.
She said Phoenix lunged at her face before tearing at her torso and extremities.
Arriving police were greeted by a gruesome scene with clumps of hair and Denning’s nose laying on the floor.
During the attack, Denning, now 58, had her upper right cheek, parts of both lips, left eyelid and her entire nose torn away, she said. She also had numerous cuts and bites on her breasts, shoulder, arms and legs, requiring extensive and numerous reconstructive surgeries.
In a statement to police while she was recovering at Hartford Hospital two weeks after the attack, Denning said she thought “she was going to die” as the dogs pulled in opposite directions.
“The pain was unbelievable and (I) had trouble talking and breathing because of the blood going down (my) throat,” Denning told police, according to a warrant.
Phoenix was euthanized in June, along with Malaki, another Rottweiler implicated in the attack.
In her statements to police, Allen said none of the six dogs present at the time of the attack had previously showed signs of aggression towards Denning.
Allen’s co-defendant in the case, 30-year-old Corey Beakey, rejected an undisclosed deal to settle his second-degree reckless endangerment charge. Police said Beakey was at Allen’s home at the time of the attack.
(The Bulletin - May 19, 2017)
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