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Owner of dogs that killed woman will not face additional charges, dogs will be put down

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NEW HAVEN -- The owner of two dogs that attacked and ultimately killed a New Haven woman will not face additional charges now that Jocelyn Winfrey has died, police said Tuesday.

Credit: Yale School of MedicineAssistant Police Chief Anthony Campbell said that Dr. Hamilton Hicks will not have his charges increased because police don't believe there was any negligence on his part.

Dr. Hicks, who works at the Yale School of Medicine, was charged with misdemeanor possession because he had crack cocaine. Police previously said they would consider adding charges related to the dog attack, especially if Winfrey dies.

"There was not an issue of animal abuse. The dogs were not roaming. From our understanding, of the circumstances, he didn't use the dogs as a weapon," Assistant Chief Campbell said.  It remains unclear whether Hicks and Winfrey were using drugs prior to the attack and, if so, whether that may have been a contributing factor in the attacks.

Winfrey died Monday, June 27, one week after the attack. Pirate and Nomad

On Monday, June 20, she and Hicks got out of a car and were walking on the property when the dogs attacked. Winfrey, 53, lost her eyes and had a leg amputated over the past week, but eventually succumbed to her injuries.

"There has been some speculation as to whether or not the dogs may have gotten into some narcotics and maybe that could've triggered the attack," said Campbell, who also wondered "if the two people had been using, did they have a smell on them?"

"That smell could trigger something in their past," said Officer Joe Manganiello, the city's animal control officer, who noted Hicks likely rescued the dogs while living in Florida. So, it's not easy to determine what their early upbringing consisted of.

Jocelyn Winfrey 2Police considered testing the dogs for the presence of narcotics, but because of their aggression, they would've had to have been anesthetized.

"And, then, that would pollute any samples we would get for testing," said Campbell.

A GoFundMe page has been set up by a friend of the Winfrey family to help pay for funeral expenses.

Police first said the two dogs who attacked Winfrey were pit bulls, but later confirmed they are bulldogs mixes.

"All the reports we'd get is that those dogs wouldn't even bark," said Campbell, whose investigators have been told "that they were not these super aggressive, jumping at the fence, barking at people, type of dogs."

But according to Animal Control, the dogs have a history of aggression.

The dogs will be euthanized on July 6, animal control officers said. For now, they are in quarantine, as required by state law.

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