Crime

Couple sentenced for dog attack that seriously injured Tacoma woman

A couple accused of owning two dogs that attacked and seriously injured a Tacoma woman last year pleaded guilty Monday.

Devin Choi Cannady, 34, and her husband, Johnny Sagllente Cannady Jr., 39, entered Alford pleas to two counts each of attempted ownership of a dog that attacks.

An Alford plea means that while they pleaded guilty to the gross misdemeanor charge, they maintain their innocence, but concede prosecutors likely could prove otherwise.

Johnny Cannady’s attorney, Robert Houle, said the couple believed other dogs might have attacked the woman and that they were sympathetic to what she had been through.

Of the couple’s dogs, Houle said: “These are members of his family that were accused, and they have been euthanized.”

The Cannadys were sentenced to 240 hours of community service each, and given suspended sentences of about two years behind bars, which they won’t have to serve if they keep out of trouble with the law.

The couple’s pit bulls, Paws and Bandit, mauled Donna Berto on July 31, 2015, outside a business in the 6200 block of 29th Street Northeast.

She suffered bites to her face, lip, scalp, left hand and lower extremities, and was in surgery for 12 hours after the attack.

Investigators looked at surveillance footage and found Paws and Bandit matched the description of the dogs that attacked Berto.

Her son, Michael Stath, told the court his mother has suffered from depression since being mauled.

“She’s physically recovered well,” he said. “Psychologically, there’s something wrong.”

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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