Couple from Leeds indicted for homicide
by David Atchison
Dec 12, 2012 | 5689 views |  1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PELL CITY – A Leeds couple was arrested and charged with the death of a man who was mauled and killed by dogs.
 
St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor said Jerry Lenton, 56, and Jacqueline Lenton, 56, turned themselves into authorities after a grand jury indicted the husband and wife for manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the Sept. 20 death of William Donald Thomas, 83, of Leeds.  
 
Minor said the couple turned themselves into the Leeds Police Department and were taken to the St. Clair County Jail in Pell City where they were booked. 
 
He said the couple each had to post a $10,000 bond. 
 
The indictments state that the couple “did recklessly cause the death of William Donald Thomas,” and “…did with criminal negligence cause the death of another person…” 
 
The couple was indicted by a St. Clair County Grand Jury that convened last week. 
 
According to authorities, two Rottweiler dogs attacked Thomas when he was retrieving mail from his mailbox. 
 
Police killed both dogs responsible for Thomas’ death at the scene. 
 
St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell said back in October that Thomas died from exsanguinations, or blood loss. 
 
The Leeds Police Department took custody of 33 Rottweiler or Rottweiler mixed dogs that were on the Lenton’s property, adjacent to Thomas’ property.  
 
The Lentons were not in court Tuesday afternoon during a civil proceeding related to the 33 dogs confiscated at their residence in September. 
 
The Lentons’ Birmingham attorney Bill Myers said the couple was not able to appear at the hearing. He said the Lentons were still being processed at the St. Clair County Jail on criminal charges. 
 
At the hearing, St. Clair County District Court Judge Alan Furr ordered that the couple pay the City of Leeds $5,870 for the cost of housing the animals from Sept. 20-Oct. 2, the time that the dogs remained in the custody of the Leeds Police Department. 
 
Those involved in the civil case said the Lentons admitted that they were unable to care for the dogs. 
 
The dogs were housed at the Birmingham-Jefferson Animal Control. Several of the dogs were euthanized, but many others were later released to three animal clinics which were finding homes for the dogs. 
 
The couple should appear in Circuit Court for their arraignment next month.

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