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Richard H. Polsky, Ph.D.

Website author

Expert Witness for the defense

Animal Behavior Counseling Services, Inc.

Los Angeles, CA.

Post Trial developments

Appeal of the murder charge

Legal experts felt that there were good grounds appeal on the murder forĀ  charge. The appeal was heard before Judge Warren several months later. Warren, in a controversial decision, overturned the murder conviction. Warren called Knoller despicable but concluded that the evidence presented at trial did not support such a harsh and rare verdict. Warren felt that there was no evidence to show that Knoller knew the dogs could kill someone. Click hereĀ  for legal commentary about this decision.

In a later development the state attorney general’s office filed papers in April 2003 with the 1st District Court of Appeal requesting that Knoller’s murder conviction be reinstated. They argued that for a murder charge, the standard in California only requires a defendant to know that their dog could cause serious injury to a person and not necessiarily death. In short, proscecutors still believe that Knoller kew enough about the risks involved in exposing these dogs to the public to warrant a murder conviction. Attorney Dennis Riordan, representing Knoller, will argue that she did not act in conscious disregard for human life – the standard needed for a murder conviction – when she took Bane for a wak to the rooftop to releive himself on the day of the incident. Arguments this latest appeal took place on March 15, 2005 and a written decision will be rendered by appelate judges within 90 days.

Knoller remained incarcerated after trial. She was released from jail in January, 2004 after having served more than half of a four-year sentence for the manslaughter charge. She is now on parole and living in Flordia with her mother. Noel was released from jail on parole in September, 2003 after serving about half of his four year sentence and is reported living in Fairfield, CA.