Conn. aunt charged in tot's pit bull mauling death

By the Associated Press | December 22, 2011 | 2:05 PM EST

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut woman has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in the mauling death of her toddler niece by three pit bulls.

Police say 30-year-old Erica Hobdy was also charged Thursday with reckless endangerment and risk of injury to a minor in the death of 20-month-old Neveah Bryant.

The girl was mauled by three pit bulls on Sept. 30 while she was in Hobdy's apartment. She later died at a hospital.

Hobdy has said the child and dogs were in separate rooms with the door closed when she left to buy a drink. She says she came home to find Neveah had been attacked.

The child's death was ruled an accident by the state medical examiner.

The animals were killed by police.