A San Antonio woman facing serious charges stemming from a fatal dog attack incident has died of natural causes, reports from several Texas media outlets said today.
The woman, 59-year-old Irma Barrera, was facing up to 20 years in prison and $10,000 in fines after she was charged with second-degree felony for the injury of a child, baby boy Izaiah Gregory Cox.
On March 31, 2009, Barrera was caring for her 7-month-old grandson when she left the room to warm a bottle. When she returned, the boy was being attacked by her two pet pit bulls. The boy died of his dog bite wounds and Barrera was also mauled by the dogs while trying to save her grandchild. When police arrived at the scene of the dog attack, they shot and killed the vicious pit bulls in Barrera’s yard.
Barrera said that the dogs, both male and unneutered, broke through a baby gate and attacked the child as he lay on a bed. When she saw the attack, she stabbed the dogs with a knife.
An investigation revealed that Barrera was aware of her dogs’ aggressive behavior and was negligent to care for a child with the dogs present. A few years prior, a 7-year-old granddaughter was seriously injured and hospitalized by the same dogs – and Barrera even visited her in the hospital. Just weeks before the attacks, a neighbor also talked to her about the pit bulls’ dangerous behavior.
Barrera was due in court for the dog mauling trial on Monday. Barrera died in early December.