State to appeal new
dog mauling decision

By KIM CURTIS, The Associated Press
Thursday July 04, 2002

SAN FRANCISCO — A prosecutor said Wednesday he will appeal a judge’s decision to toss out Marjorie Knoller’s second-degree murder conviction in last year’s fatal dog mauling. 

District Attorney Terence Hallinan had planned to ask Judge James Warren to reconsider his June 17 decision, but instead will avoid further legal wrangling with Warren and go directly to the state appeals court. 

“We thought the reconsideration was not going to be successful,” Hallinan said. “It would be a lot of effort that would be better spent in other areas ... We also feel it’s important not to take the reversal of the murder conviction lying down.” 

Knoller faces a maximum four-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter when she goes back to court July 15. Her husband, Robert Noel, also convicted of involuntary manslaughter, received a four-year sentence last month. 

Knoller, 46, could have gotten 15 years to life in prison for murder. Though Warren said Knoller and Noel are “the most despised couple in this city,” the judge said the evidence did not support a murder conviction because Knoller had no way of knowing her dogs would kill someone when she left her apartment that day in January 2001.