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Toddler Mauled, Uncle Pleads Not Guilty to Child Endangerment

A grandmother and her son are behind bars on Tuesday for felony child endangerment in the death of 2-year-old Samuel “Eli” Zamudio. Eli was at his grandmother’s house, in Colton, being watched by his uncle, Marco Zamudio, on September 23, 2013 when he climbed out of the window and was fatally attacked by his grandmother’s pit bull.
Samuel’s grandmother, Eustulia Zamudio, 42, and his uncle, Marco Zamudio, 23, were booked Tuesday morning on suspicion of child endangerment leading to death. The San Bernardino County District Attorney dropped charges against Eustulia on Wednesday because she was not home at the time of the mauling. Marco Zamudio pleaded not guilty to child cruelty charges Wednesday.

Samuel was attacked when he leaned out a window of the home and was then dragged across the backyard. His grandmother, who owns the home, discovered him later. Marco was at the home with Samuel and was in charge of watching over him, prosecutors contend.

Family members believe the death was merely an unfortunate accident, claiming that Marco fell asleep after working all night. The search for Samuel began around 5 p.m. on September 23. It ended about 30 minutes later Samuel’s grandmother found Samuel’s body with bite wounds to his head and neck in the family’s backyard.

Animal Control officers took custody of five pit bull mixes at the scene of the attack. It was not immediately clear how many of the dogs were involved.

California Penal Code 273a PC punished acts of child endangerment. In California, a child endangerment conviction does not require that any child suffer an actual injury. Therefore, it is easy for innocent people to face prosecution under California child endangerment laws. 

A criminal conviction is costly. It is possible that you may serve time in prison, disrupting your career and family life. Also, its possible that you will have to pay heavy restitution fines, resulting in financial woes. Your record may be stained by such convictions, and your reputation may suffer. Our goal at Don Ho Law is to provide an aggressive and comprehensive defense for those accused of a crime throughout Southern California. If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, contact Don Ho Law today.

Published by Don Ho LawDon Ho is an experienced criminal defense attorney who serves Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange Counties.

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