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‘Killer dog’ owner set for U S re-trial

THE OWNER of two Presa Canario dogs which mauled a woman to death outside her apartment in San Francisco is set for a retrial after the US Appeal court overturned her conviction for second-degree murder.

Marjorie Knoller, 46 and her husband, Robert Noel, 60, were put on trial in Los Angeles in March this year after their dogs Bane and Hera attacked and killed neighbour Diane Whipple, a 33-year-old San Francisco lacrosse coach. Whipple was killed in the hallway of the apartment building she shared with Knoller and Noel as she returned home from a trip to the grocery store on January 26th 2001.

The prosecution laid out more than 30 incidents or warnings involving the 100-plus-pound dogs, which since have been destroyed. All the warnings given about the dogs had been ignored by the couple.

Knoller was found guilty of second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and having a mischievous animal that kills. Noel was found guilty on the latter two counts.Knoller appealed against her conviction for murder and last week this conviction was overturned by the Appeal Court. A date is to be set for Knoller’s retrial and is set to generate media interest as intense as that surrounding the pair’s original trial earlier this year.