Monday, June 17, 2002

The second degree murder conviction against Marjorie Knoller for the death of Diane Whipple via her two large Presa Canarios has been set aside. Now, many people believe that this was going to happen anyway given the circumstances that no one had ever been convicted of a murder committed by their animal. Even I was surprised at the verdict. I had expected a manslaughter conviction which sadly would only draw four years of prison for the heinous crime.

I also think that Nedra Ruiz should be disbarred for some of her comments and actions. Clearly this woman was all histrionics and dramatics and no substance at all. Blaming Whipple's death on her partner (while her partner was on the stand no less) was cold, callous, and showed no feeling whatsoever for the crimes that were committed. Even more salacious was Ruiz's claim that Knoller was covering Whipple's body to protect the woman from getting attacked even more. Given the condition of Whipple's body after the attack, Knoller should have also suffered serious wounds from her dogs as well and not the minute scratches she received. Where are her bite marks, Ms. Ruiz? Why weren't her clothes ripped off like those of Diane Whipple? Why didn't she do anything more than try to "call them off" instead of dragging them off of the body and throwing them in her apartment?

The main contention here is the California law that states that one person cannot be charged of a crime (such a manslaughter) and then charged for the same crime under a higher statue (such a second degree murder). However, there is a provision that states that if this does happen that the more serious of the two charges will stand. What the judge in this case was to determine that there was not enough evidence to convict of second degree murder by stating that Knoller had no idea that her dogs would kill when they left the apartment that day. However, he did not let Knoller and Noel go unpunished when he called them the "most despised people in the city" and that he did not believe much of Knoller's testimony (as did I, most people watching the trial, and the jury). He did say, however, one reason he was tossing out the verdict was because Knoller's husband, Robert Noel, did not face a similar charge and, in fact, he was probably more culpable than his wife.

What irks me here is that there were numerous witnesses who testified about the dogs lunging at them or feeling threatened by them. A vet testified that he felt that Bane, the larger of the two presa canarios, was a walking time bomb and that one of the dogs had lunged at a small boy while being walked. The dog had also previously bitten Whipple. I believe that Knoller and Noel knew that capacity of the dogs and the way in which they were raised. They were not raised to be house dogs but more of guard dogs -- to protect their owners. They knew that their dogs had bitten other people and were capable of attacking and causing serious harm. That knowledge alone should have told them that if these dogs could attack others then they could also kill. Despite my misgivings about the prosecutions chances to win a conviction of second degree murder, I think that both Knoller and Noel should have been tried for second degree murder as they were both culpable for the way these dogs were raised and for not taking preventive actions to ensure that these dogs behaved well around others. At the very least we're talking about criminally negligent homicide....

Personally I can't wait for the civil trial where those two will get the stuffing beaten out of them...

Nedra Ruiz -- rot in hell you skanky ass bitch.
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