- The Washington Times - Friday, February 22, 2002

LOS ANGELES The couple charged in the dog-mauling death of a neighbor worked with a neo-Nazi prison gang on a business devoted to raising attack dogs, a state investigator testified yesterday.
Devan Hawkes, a state Corrections Department gang investigator, cited letters found at the couple's home and in the cells of two inmates belonging to the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang.
Letters from Robert Noel showed active involvement in a "Dog O' War" business, Mr. Hawkes said.
Mr. Noel and his wife, Marjorie Knoller, are charged in the Jan. 26, 2001, mauling death of their neighbor Diane Whipple by two big Presa Canario dogs they kept in their San Francisco apartment. The trial was moved to Los Angeles due to extensive publicity in San Francisco.
Mrs. Knoller, 46, who was with the dogs at the time of the attack, is charged with second-degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and having a mischievous animal that killed a human being. She faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Mr. Noel, 60, faces the latter two charges and up to four years in prison if convicted.
Yesterday, jurors saw portions of letters in which Mr. Noel appeared to encourage Pelican Bay State Prison inmate Paul "Cornfed" Schneider to try to escape and said that if he and Mrs. Knoller were present they would help.
"I would want to make it clear," Mr. Noel wrote. "If you went for the door, all she and I would do is wave you goodbye and wish you godspeed."
Mr. Hawkes also identified a letter from Mr. Noel that named and pinpointed the location of an inmate "a potential witness" who had dropped out of the Aryan Brotherhood.
Mr. Hawkes said Schneider and another inmate worked with Mr. Noel and Mrs. Knoller on a business to raise Presa Canarios with the Aryan Brotherhood for use as guard dogs.
Prosecutor Jim Hammer showed jurors invoices for books ordered by the prisoners among them "Gladiator Dogs," "Fighting Dog Breeds," and "Manstopper: Training a Canine Guardian."

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