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Source: Chimp Owner Sandra Herold Won't Face Charges for Rampage that Tore Charla Nash's Face Off

(Handout)
(Handout)
(ABC News)
Photo: Travis the chimpanzee with owner Sandra Herold.

NEW HAVEN, Connecticut (CBS/AP) Sandra Herold, the New Haven, Conn. woman whose 200-pound chimpanzee tore off her friend Charla Nash's face, won't face charges, according to a person with direct knowledge of the investigation.

PICTURES: Chimp Victim Charla Nash (Warning Graphic Images)

State's Attorney David Cohen refused to comment ahead of a news conference scheduled for Monday afternoon, but the person with knowledge of the investigation said no charges are planned against Herold.

Photo: Charla Nash and Travis the chimpanzee.

PICTURES: Chimp Victim Charla Nash (Warning Graphic Images)

The person was not authorized to speak publicly before the news conference and talked on condition of anonymity.

Attorneys for Herold and Nash said they had no knowledge of the decision and couldn't comment on it.

Photo: Charla Nash reveals face on Oprah Nov. 11, 2009.

PICTURES: Chimp Victim Charla Nash (Warning Graphic Images)

Last February, Travis the chimpanzee went berserk after Herold asked Nash to help lure him back into her house. The chimp ripped off Nash's hands, nose, lips and eyelids.

Nash revealed her heavily disfigured face last month on "The Oprah Winfrey Show."

Nash's family is suing Herold for $50 million and wants to sue the state for $150 million. Nash's family has said Herold was negligent and reckless for lacking the ability to control "a wild animal with violent propensities."

A biologist for the state Department of Environmental Protection warned officials before the attack that Travis could seriously hurt someone if he felt threatened, noting that he was large and strong.

Herold's attorney has called the attack work-related and said her family's case should be treated like a worker's compensation claim. The strategy, if successful, would limit potential damages in the case and insulate the chimp owner from personal liability.

Test results showed that Travis had the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his system.

The animal, which was shot and killed by police, had also escaped in 2003 from his owner's car and led police on a chase for hours in downtown Stamford. No one was injured.

Records obtained by The Associated Press through an open-records request show the state began receiving warnings immediately after that event.

MEDIA
PICTURES: Chimp Victim Charla Nash (Warning Graphic Images)

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
November 12, 2009 - Chimp Attack Victim Pictures: Carla Nash Before and After Photo Slideshow
November 12, 2009 - "Oprah Chimp Victim" Charla Nash Wants $50M, Chimp Owner Lawyers Call it Work Accident
November 12, 2009 - Oprah: Chimp Victim Charla Nash (Warning Graphic Pictures) Says She Doesn't Remember Attack
November, 11, 2009 - Charla Nash Pictures After Attack: Eyes, Hands, Mouth Gone, But Will to Live Carries On

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