Mich. couple held on $500k bail in dogs fatal mauling of jogger

A Cane Corso dog, the same breed that mauled a 46-year-old jogger in Lapeer, Mich., on July 23.

CBS Detroit

LAPEER, Mich. - 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, 44, and husband Sebastiano Quagliata, 45, 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. He died later from his wounds. The dogs are cane corsos and have since been removed from the couple's home, according to CBS Detroit.

"[Cane corsos] are not huge, but they are aggressive," Assistant Lapeer County Prosecutor Mike Hodges told the station. "I've never seen an adult mauling like this."

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.

Authorities told CBS Detroit this was the third attack by dogs belonging to Lucaj and Quagliata in the past two years. The couple apparently breeds dogs on their property.

A hearing originally scheduled for Friday to decide whether the dogs involved in the attack - along with a third adult dog and multiple puppies - would be euthanized was postponed, the station reports.