A judge has ruled that the partner of a dog-mauling victim will be allowed to hear opening statements in the trial of a San Francisco couple, even though she will be a witness. A defense objection to the presence of Sharon Smith in court for next week´s opening statements was overruled yesterday by San Francisco Superior Court Judge James Warren. Attorneys Marjorie Knoller and her husband Robert Noel have been charged in the death of Diane Whipple. Whipple was mauled to death a little over a year ago when she encountered Knoller walking two huge dogs in the hallway of her apartment building. The trial was moved to Los Angeles because of extensive publicity. The lengthy jury selection process will conclude tomorrow when the final panel is chosen.