Who was Michele Sheeks? Alabama woman attacked by dogs in April dies after months in hospital
FRANKLIN, ALABAMA: A woman from Franklin County lost her life on Tuesday, July 12, due to her severe injuries after being attacked by a pack of dogs in April this year. According to a civil complaint filed in June, the victim Michele Sheeks was walking along County Highway 11 in Red Bay, Alabama, when her husband said she was attacked. The incident reportedly took place on April 28. “Unfortunately she never got the chance to leave that hospital,” Michelle’s husband, Wesley told News 19 On Tuesday.
Michelle died at the University of Mississippi Medical Center due to complications from her injuries just before 11 pm on Tuesday. "Her condition was serious," Franklin County Sheriff Shannon Oliver told AL.com at the time. The same dogs are also accused of killing Jacqueline Summer Beard, an Alabama Department of Public Health worker, while she was trying to locate the dogs’ owner during a follow-up.
As reported by the Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to the area for a suspicious vehicle that evening. When officials approached, the dogs attacked again. "During the frenzy, some of the dogs were euthanized immediately," the Sheriff's Office said. As deputies began investigating the suspicious vehicle, they found Beard's severely injured body.
The dogs’ owner, Brandy Lee Dowdy, 39, was arrested and charged with manslaughter in connection with Beard’s death. She will also face penalties under Emily’s Law, which Gov. Kay Ivey signed in March 2018. Criminal charges related to Sheeks' death have not been filed. However, according to NBC News, the Franklin County Assistant District Attorney's Office said it would be seeking a second manslaughter charge and upgraded counts of dangerous dog law against Dowdy. However, it was not clear if Dowdy had obtained an attorney or entered a plea to the first charges.
In Sheeks' civil lawsuit, she alleges Dowdy and the property's owner Billy Joe Crumpton "knew or should have known of the dogs' dangerous propensities," and "had the ability to restrain, confine, or take other reasonable actions with regard to the harboring of said dogs that would have prevented the subject attack." Wesley Sheeks is now planning his wife's funeral after spending months at her hospital bedside in Jackson, Miss. Her funeral will take place at Deaton Funeral Home in Red Bay.