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March 27, 2014

NT woman gets 12 years for stabbing boyfriend

Tonawanda News — LOCKPORT — A North Tonawanda woman was sentenced Wednesday in Niagara County Court to 12 years in prison for fatally stabbing her boyfriend in her Oliver Street apartment last year. 

Jennifer R. Marchant, 24, was convicted by a jury of first degree-manslaughter and was facing five to 25 years in prison for the death of Ralph D. Stone, whom she admitted stabbing once in the neck with a 12-inch kitchen knife, which struck a major artery causing him to bleed out within minutes.  

The jury dismissed Marchant’s self-defense claim, finding insufficient evidence that she had no other recourse to Stone’s physical abuse during a drunken late-night domestic incident that her defense attorney, Dominic Saraceno, cast as a room-to-room battle for survival. 

The jury, however, disagreed, finding Marchant guilty of the crime in January.

As Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Lisa M. Baehre and Saraceno reiterated the themes of the case that had been prevalent during a five-day trial, Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas laid the blame on Stone and Marchant, both of whom had histories of arrests. 

The reputations of Marchant, who performed Internet pornography under the name “Scarlett Rouge” and had been arrested twice for DWI in the years leading up to the Feb. 6, 2013 incident, and Stone, who had been arrested at least 11 times before his death, were called into question by Farkas, who noted that neither side of the legal aisle would be happy with her sentence. 

“I think there is responsibility on both sides,” she said, addressing the courtroom. 

Farkas also noted that several police detectives had expressed remorse that Marchant was found guilty of the manslaughter, stating that they were familiar with Stone’s past, including violent incidents with other women. 

She also recognized that Stone was heavily intoxicated, with a blood alcohol content of 0.285, about three and half times the legal limit. Marchant’s blood alcohol content was 0.06 at the time of her arrest. 

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