Charge increased in fatal dog attack

The husband of a woman killed by her own dog last year is now facing a felony charge.

Prosecutors amended the charge against 41-year-old Christopher Collins from second-degree wanton endangerment to first-degree, making the charge a felony.

Collins was charged earlier this year for the Nov. 1, 2018, incident in his home that ultimately killed his wife April. According to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, April Collins died after being attacked by her dog.

Clark County Attorney William Elkins said first-degree wanton endangerment involves conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury. Second-degree wanton endangerment constitutes creating a risk of a physical injury.

According to court documents, the dog bit April Collins at least twice previously, including once the day before the fatal attack. April Collins was treated for one dog bite on Sept. 29, 2018, and again on  Oct. 31.

Christopher Collins told detectives he did not report the Oct. 31 incident because he did not want to lose his dog. Doctors or adult witnesses are required to report any dog bites within 12 hours under state law.

Christopher Collins also told detectives the dog, named Duke, would only attack April Collins when she was drinking alcohol.

April Collins reportedly stayed home from work Nov. 1 after being attacked the previous day. When Christopher Collins returned home that night, he found April unresponsive with multiple wounds from the dog. April Collins died the following day in the University of Kentucky Medical Center.

The dog was taken and is being kept at the Clark County Animal Shelter until the case is resolved. The dog’s fate will be determined by the court.

First-degree wanton endangerment carries a sentence of one to five years in prison upon conviction.