Judge sentences woman to four years in prison for dog mauling

Monday, July 15th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ A judge sentenced Marjorie Knoller to the maximum four years in prison for the dog mauling death of her neighbor in their apartment building last year.

With time served, the sentence will keep Knoller behind bars for nearly two more years. Her husband, Robert Noel, has already begun serving his four-year sentence.

Judge James Warren said Knoller deserved the maximum because she had shown no remorse and had lied under oath in denying that her dogs were dangerous. He also said she ignored evidence that the dogs could kill someone.

``You knew those dogs were dangerous, you knew you could not control them, you took them outside anyway and it was clear at some point, someone was going to get hurt by those dogs,'' the judge told Knoller.

Knoller, 46, was convicted in March of murder, involuntary manslaughter and having a mischievous dog that killed someone. Noel, 60, was found guilty of the manslaughter and mischievous dog charges.

Knoller could have gotten 15 years to life in prison for murder. But the judge threw out the charge, saying the evidence did not support a murder conviction because Knoller had no way of knowing the dogs would kill someone when she left her apartment that day in January 2001.

The couple were arrested after their neighbor, Diane Whipple, 33, was attacked by the two huge Presa Canarios in their apartment hallway. Knoller denied responsibility and later said in a TV interview that Whipple could have saved herself by going inside her apartment.