Woman Who Murdered Over 20 Great Danes in McKean County (Pennsylvania) Jail

 |  Jul 13th 2007  |   9 Contributions


CherylMagnottaescortedbyPennsylvaniaStateDogWardenAmyTyger.jpg

Thanks to Patty for barking in this article from the Bradford Era.

Magnotta now in McKean County Jail after arraignment

By SANDRA RHODES
Era City Editor
Era photo by Francie Long

A former Bradford woman accused of starving 21 Great Danes to death is now in McKean County Prison following her arraignment Thursday afternoon before District Judge Richard Luther.

Cheryl Ann Magnotta, 59, formerly of 320 W. Corydon St., was remanded to the county prison on $150,000 straight bail. She is charged with 21 counts of cruelty to animals and 44 counts of scattering rubbish.


The case against Magnotta started on June 12 when Jack Buckles, a real estate agent with Rocking Horse Realty in Smethport, arrived at the West Washington Street property to check it for occupancy and prepare it to be sold since a bank had foreclosed on it.

Buckles discovered the two decomposed bodies of Great Danes enclosed in a small room behind a door nailed shut in a small building at the back of the property; the property is located at the intersection of Dorothy Lane and West Corydon Street, bordering University of Pittsburgh at Bradford property.

Buckles contacted McKean County Humane Officer Tony Danias, who then contacted the Bradford Township Police and code enforcement to help. A search of the property uncovered a total of 21 Great Danes bodies.

Bradford Township Police Officer Tim Gigliotti, who investigated the case, noted several tarps and rugs lying about the property in a position that appeared to be covering other possible remains of animals as well as other out buildings that appeared to have additional kennels," according to the affidavit of probable cause. There was also a strong odor of dead animals.

The remains included adult and younger dogs in various stages of decomposition.

The corpses were found in two boarded-up buildings; in shallow graves; wrapped in tarps; and under old carpet on the property. The dogs were believed to have died three to nine months ago and were covered by lime, soil, debris and dog feces.

According to the affidavit, there were no food or water dishes in or around the kennels, and it appears the dogs died of starvation.

Also found were 32 bags of dog feces scattered on that property and adjacent property, as well as 12 plastic tarp and carpet remnants with dog remains.

Since 2001, Magnotta held a license to run Swift Dane Kennel. Police found documents relating to the ownership, breeding, kennel license and other records pertaining to raising dogs.

Bradford Township Police issued a statewide bulletin for Magnotta because she could not be located after the charges were filed last month. She was last seen at that property June 11 with a moving truck.

Magnotta was arrested in Newton Township, Lackawanna County, Wednesday night when she was remanded to the Lackawanna County Prison. She was returned to McKean County Thursday.

As of late Thursday afternoon, Magnotta did not have an attorney.

Magnotta, who sat quietly with a box of tissue on the table in front of her and a waste paper can beside her because she appeared to be sick, quietly told Luther that she did not have any ties to the community.

Constable Charles Gould, who retrieved Magnotta from Lackawanna County Thursday morning, said in the past he had tried to serve her with civil paperwork but she wouldnt answer her door.

Then Luther set her bail for $150,000 straight cash.

A preliminary hearing was set for 1 p.m. July 25 in Luthers office.

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