Tuesday, February 19, 2019

CALIFORNIA - PAROLE DENIED FOR FORMER SAN FRANCISCO ATTORNEY MARJORIE KNOLLER WHOSE PRESA CANARIOS FATALLY MAULED DIANE WHIPPLE IN THE HALLWAY OF HER APARTMENT IN 2001



California commissioners denied parole Thursday for a former San Francisco attorney serving a life sentence in a bizarre dog-mauling case that tested the limits of the state’s murder laws.
Marjorie Knoller is serving a sentence of 15 years to life in prison for second-degree murder after her dogs attacked and killed her neighbor, Diane Whipple, 33, in their San Francisco apartment building in 2001.
FILE--Diane Whipple, 33, who was fatally mauled Jan. 26, 2001, outside her San Francisco apartment by at least one of two huge Presa Canario dogs, is shown in this undated file photo.  A jury in Los Angeles, on Thursday, March 21, 2002, found Marjorie Knoller guilty of second-degree murder in the dog mauling death of Diane Whipple.  Knoller's husband, Robert Noel, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the fatal mauling. (AP Photo/Contra Costa Times, Jose Carlos Fajardo, File)

Ran on: 05-06-2005
Marjorie Knoller could be sent to prison for from 15 years to life under the murder conviction.

ALSO Ran on: 05-06-2005
Marjorie Knoller could be sent to prison for from 15 years to life under the murder conviction.
Ran on: 03-17-2008
Marjorie Knoller
Ran on: 03-17-2008
Marjorie Knoller
ALSO Ran on: 08-23-2008
Marjorie Knoller
Ran on: 08-23-2008
Marjorie Knoller
Ran on: 09-23-2008
Marjorie Knoller Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo, AP

Commissioners decided Knoller can try again in three years, said parole board spokesman Luis Patino.

Thursday’s hearing was Knoller’s first chance at release during her second stint in prison. She was initially freed in 2004 when a judge reduced her second-degree murder conviction to involuntary manslaughter, but she was sent back when another court reinstated the tougher conviction.

The California Supreme Court eventually decided Knoller acted with a conscious disregard for human life when her 140-pound Presa Canario escaped and killed Whipple. The sentencing judge said Knoller did little to stop the attack.

Whipple, the women’s lacrosse coach at St. Mary's College in Moraga, bled to death from 73 bites, including fatal injuries to the neck.

By policy, parole officials won’t release the name of the attorney who represented Knoller at her hearing. Two attorneys who represented her at her sentencing, Don Horgan and Dennis Riordan, said they were no longer involved with her case and couldn’t comment on her behalf.

Knoller’s husband and law partner, Robert Noel, wasn’t home at the time but was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and failing to exercise care with an attack dog. He was sentenced to four years in prison and paroled in 2003.

The couple said they were keeping the dogs in their apartment on behalf of a state prisoner whom they eventually adopted as their son.