Court To Reconsider Dog Mauling Conviction

Dog Mauling CaseA San Francisco woman, Marjorie Knoller, whose dog mauled and killed a woman may be convicted of second-degree murder instead of involuntary manslaughter.

In January 2001, Knoller was walking Bane, her Presa Canario, in her apartment complex when her neighbor, Diane Whipple, was entering her apartment.

Bane charged at Whipple and jumped on her. Knoller’s other dog may have also attacked the neighbor. The woman suffered 77 wounds, including a fatal puncture to the neck.

Knoller was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2002 and she served half of her four year sentence and was paroled in 2004. Knoller’s husband was also charged with involuntary manslaughter because he left the dogs with his wife even though he knew that his wife couldn’t control the dogs. The trial judge reduced Knoller’s sentence to manslaughter because even though he said that Knoller knew that her dogs were dangerous, she “had not known her conduct posed a high probability of death.”

Now, in an unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court is ordering a Superior Court Judge to restore a jury’s second degree murder conviction. The state court overruled the original ruling saying that: “Knoller, or any other defendant responsible for unintentional but fatal injuries, can be convicted of murder if they acted with conscious disregard of the danger to human life.”

Now, a new judge will review the trial record and decide if Knoller will be charged with manslaughter or murder.

2 Responses to “Court To Reconsider Dog Mauling Conviction”

  1. sam says:

    I remember this story. These dogs were vicious and had bitten others. This couple is very weird and there are some twisted parts to this story. It just makes my heart ache to think of what Diane Whipple went through. I am sickened by the Knoller’s cavalier attitude of that poor woman’s horrific murder. Here is some more information about the case.

    http://www.dogbitelaw.com/PAGES/Whipple.html

  2. Monika says:

    Definitely she should be charged with second-degree murder. I believe that the jury actually called for that the first time around and the judge changed the charge. I remember this case well. I remember the graphic pictures of the hallway and the spilled groceries that Ms. Whipple was carrying at the time. Blood was literally everywhere. She was mauled and completely naked - the dogs tore off all her clothing.

    I also remember the bizarre aspects of this story that were never allowed into evidence - how Knoller and Noel ‘adopted’ a rascist gang member in prison and how there were sexual photographs of Knoller found and accusations of bestiality. How Knoller and Noel blamed the victim for her own death - because of the perfume she was wearing and that maybe she was on steroids (!!!!!). These two ‘lawyers’ were whacked out. No remorse, except for their dogs.

    Marjorie Knoller should never had walked these dogs without muzzles on them - these dogs were huge dogs, neighbors all said they were out of control and known to be aggressive toward other people. For that reason, this was more than involuntary manslaughter and the judge should have known better.


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