SAN BERNARDINO – Jurors took less than one day to acquit a man accused of leaving his two-year-old nephew unattended when he was eventually attacked by five pit bulls.
Marco Zamudio, 23, of Colton, was released from jail after the Friday morning verdict was read in a San Bernardino County courtroom. Zamudio’s nephew, Samuel Eli Zamudio, died on Sept. 23, 2013 when he was left alone in the back room of a Colton residence on the 700 block of Citrus Avenue. Police reported that the boy reached outside the window of a rear bedroom into the back yard. He was pulled into the yard by the pit bulls. He was eventually found, mauled to death, lying in the corner of the back yard.
At the time, Marco Zamudio was arrested and so was Samuel’s grandmother, Eustolia Zamudio, 42. She was released by Colton police, however, and not charged when prosecutors determined that she was at work.
The boy, who was playing video games with his seven-year-old brother in a back bedroom, had leaned out the window to play with the dogs. When family members later determined that he was not in the room, they searched the house and eventually discovered him in the back yard, where there were between seven and 10 dogs.
Colton police, who reported that there was about 30 minutes from the time Samuel was discovered missing until he was eventually discovered, called the residence unsanitary, also saying the dogs were not cared for properly.
Defense attorneys called it a freak accident. The criminal complaint, however, stated that Marco Zamudio was responsible for Samuel’s care. He created conditions, said prosecutors, that “willfully caused and permitted a child to suffer, and inflicted thereon physical pain that resulted in death.
The five pit bulls that were involved in the attack were taken by animal control officers, along with three other dogs at the home.