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Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D.

Website author

Expert Witness for the defense

Animal Behavior Counseling Services, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA.

Arguments of the prosecution & supporting evidence

Argument Supporting Evidence
Bane & Hera were dangerous by nature People who encountered the dogs in or near the apartment building and said that the dogs had behaved aggressively either towards them or their dogs.
Severe bite Bane inflicted to the hand of defendant, Noel.
Photographs detailing the injuries sustained by Whipple.
Presa canario dogs are inherently dangerous by nature (introduced indirectly via non-expert testimony).
Behavioral evaluation of Hera (evidence was never introduced at trial).
Defendants knew of the dangerous nature of Bane and Hera Noel or Knoller were in presence of Bane or Hera during their displays of aggression.
Defendant’s knowledge of breed characteristic of the Presa canario dog.
Defendants acknowledge in letters to Pelican Bay prisoner, Schneider, that the dogs behaved aggressively.
Defendant’s knew of Schneider’s desire to breed and sell aggressive dogs.
Defendant showed callous disregard for safety of others prior to the mauling Attitude of defendants as demonstrated in their public appearances shortly after the mauling and in statements made in letters sent to inmate Schneider.Defendants rarely showed any remorse or apology to those who were frightened by Bane and Hera’s aggression.
Knoller showed callous disregard at the time of the mauling and after the mauling Knoller was not present in the hallway when authorities first arrived.
Knoller did not call 911.
Knoller could not have intervened to protect Whipple or to stop the attack because she was hardly bitten.
Knoller blamed Whipple for her own death.
Defendants could not control dogs Testimony from several witnesses who said they saw either Bane or Hera dragging the defendants behind them.
Defendants did nothing to protect public from the danger Bane and Hera presented Defendants were given numerous warnings about the dangerous nature of their dogs and they ignored these warnings.
Defendants could not be believed Numerous inconsistencies and lack of credence in statements made by defendants in public appearances shortly after mauling, at Grand Jury hearing, and in Knoller’s testimony at trial.
Rebuttal testimony of animal behaviorist suggesting that Knoller was not on top of Whipple during the attack
Defendants were not likable Personal relationship defendants had formed with prison inmates who were members of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Noel was guilty of manslaughter because he gave Knoller the responsibility of handling Bane Noel knew that Bane was dangerous and that Knoller could not control him.