Ripleys appeal convictions in Colonial Heritage dog attacks

Staff writer

A mother and son from James City County have appealed their convictions in connection with dog attacks in Colonial Heritage.

Aaron Christopher Ripley, 21, has appealed his convictions on four counts of dog at large and one count of possession of a dangerous dog that later killed a cat or dog, according to appeals filed on March 25 and Commonwealth’s Attorney Nate Green.

Sandra Jane Ripley, 57, has appealed her convictions on three counts of dog at large and a dangerous dog violation, according to the appeals and Green.

The pair filed their appeals on March 25 and the records are now kept in the Williamsburg-James City County Circuit Court. There next hearing will be held at 10 a.m. May 17 in the circuit court.

The pair was convicted on March 15 after a three-and-a-half hour long court hearing. But the case did not stop dogs from leaving Aaron Ripley’s property.

On Friday morning, Aaron Ripley’s girlfriend was found guilty in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court for allowing two dogs to roam at large. Both Ripleys were banned from owning dogs for three years, according to court records.

Aaron Ripley was handed down a six-month suspended jail sentence and ordered to pay the court $968 in fines and fees. Sandra Ripley was given a six-month suspended jail sentence and order to pay the court $912 in fines and fees.

Two days after Aaron and Sandra Ripley’s convictions, dogs were roaming in Colonial Heritage again, according to James City County Police Department spokeswoman Stephanie Williams.

Aaron Ripley’s girlfriend, Ashley Houston, 18, was found guilty for that incident. Houston said on Facebook that one of the dogs taken on March 17 was “Paris.” Aaron Ripley was convicted on March 15 for allowing Paris to run at large. He was previously convicted in 2017 for Paris running at large.

Sandra Ripley could not be reached as her phone number said it was disconnected. Aaron Ripley also could not be reached as he changed his phone number.

Sandra and Aaron Ripley have been charged and convicted on 21 criminal or civil counts of dog law violations stemming from incidents as early as December 2015, according to online court records.

All of the dogs connected with the incident are no longer in James City County, although there remains at least one dog on Ripley’s property in the county, Green said.

Roberts can be reached at 757-604-1329, by email at and on Twitter @SPRobertsJr.

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