Appeals court upholds second-degree murder conviction in San Francisco dog mauling case

A California appeals court has found that a San Francisco woman whose 140-pound dog fatally mauled a neighbor was properly convicted of second degree-murder.

The First District Court of Appeal in San Francisco ruled 3-0 Monday that Marjorie Knoller acted with a conscious disregard for human life when her Presa Canario escaped and killed Diane Whipple in 2001.

The trial judge reduced Knoller's conviction to involuntary manslaughter after a jury found her guilty of second-degree murder in 2002.

The appeals court decision upholds a 2008 lower court ruling reinstating the murder conviction.

Knoller is serving a sentence of 15 years to life. She was initially paroled after serving four years on the manslaughter conviction.

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Information from: San Francisco Chronicle, http://www.sfgate.com/chronicle