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Woman convicted in Calif. dog maul death to be released

Knoller shown in February 2002 during her trial.
Knoller shown in February 2002 during her trial.

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• Indictment: People v. Knoller and Noel  (FindLaw, PDF)external link
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SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- The California woman whose dogs mauled to death a neighbor in January, 2001 will soon be released on parole after serving a little more than a year in prison.

Marjorie Knoller, who was present when her two large Presa Canario dogs attacked and killed Diane Whipple in the hallway of their apartment building, was convicted of second-degree murder in 2002.

On appeal, a judge reduced the verdict to involuntary manslaughter and sentenced Knoller to a prison term of four years, the maximum allowed. Under California's sentencing laws, Knoller's parole was mandatory after she had served 14 months.

Knoller will be released sometime within the next few days, according to California Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Heimerich. She will be driven by a parole officer from the Central California Women's Facility in Chowchilla to an undisclosed location in southern California to serve her parole.

Because of the notoriety of the case and concern for Knoller's safety, Heimerich would not reveal when Knoller would be released or where she would be living, indicating only that her new home would be "somewhere south of Bakersfield."

Though the parole date is determined by statute, a parole committee decided the location of Knoller's parole.

"We try to put parolees where they have the best chance of proceeding with their lives," Heimerich said.

Knoller will be subject to both scheduled and unscheduled visits by her parole officer for the next three years. One special condition of her parole is that she is not allowed to own a dog.

Nor will Knoller be allowed to live with her husband, Robert Noel, for the next three years. Noel also was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Whipple's death, and was paroled earlier this year.

The corrections spokesman said that parolees are usually prohibited from associating with other convicted felons.

"There will be some contact, because they are still husband and wife, but they are not allowed to serve [their parole] together," Heimerich said.

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