The California Supreme Court has ordered a superior court to consider restoring a jury’s second-degree murder conviction of Marjorie Knoller in the mauling death of Diane Whipple. The trial judge had reduced Knoller’s conviction to involuntary manslaughter, saying Knoller hadn’t known her 140-pound preas canario was likely to kill someone.
The Court said knowledge that a dog is a potential killer is enough to convict its owner of second-degree murder. A defendant can be convicted of murder if she acted with “conscious disregard of the danger to human life.
A new San Francisco superior court judge, replacing the now-retired judge, must now apply the Supreme Court’s standard to the jury’s verdict.