A San Francisco judge has granted a new trial on second-degree murder charges against Marjorie Knoller in the fatal dog attack on a neighbor. But the judge is also refusing to grant a new trial on lesser charges for her and her husband. The judge is letting stand the involuntary manslaughter charges of which Knoller and Robert Noel were convicted. Superior Court Judge James Warren said in court this morning that Marjorie Knoller and Robert Noel were likely the most despised couple in San Francisco. But he said he didn´t think that Knoller could have known when she took the dogs out on the day of the attack that the dog would kill someone.
College lacrosse coach Diane Whipple was returning to her apartment on January 26th of last year when she was attacked by a huge presa canario dog. Knoller was returning to her apartment on the same floor with two of the animals when the attack occurred. She was unable to control the dogs and Whipple died in her doorway. While ordering the new trial, Warren said there was no doubt to him that the conduct of Knoller and Noel from the time they got the dogs to the time of Diane Whipple´s death was despicable. Warren said he would sentence the two on involuntary manslaughter charges later today.