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California Briefing / SAN FRANCISCO

Attorney gets 15 years in dog mauling

September 23, 2008|Maria L. La Ganga

An attorney whose dogs mauled her neighbor to death in an attack that received national attention was sentenced Monday to 15 years to life in prison for the 2001 murder of lacrosse coach Dianne Whipple.

Marjorie Knoller was originally sentenced to four years in prison on a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter after a judge threw out the jury's second-degree murder conviction in 2002.

Superior Court Judge James Warren said at the time that there was not enough evidence that Knoller knew her two Presa Canarios -- each weighing about 100 pounds -- would kill.

Knoller served about half of her sentence and was paroled in 2004, later moving to Florida.

But the California Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that Warren interpreted the murder statute too narrowly and said that a judge must reconsider the more serious conviction.

Last month, Superior Court Judge Charlotte Woolard reinstated the second-degree murder conviction. She sentenced Knoller on Monday morning. Dennis Riordan, Knoller's attorney, said his client plans to file an appeal.

-- Maria L. LaGanga

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