Tonawanda News


November 7, 2013

Lawyers argue evidence in pretrial

Tonawanda News — Attorneys preparing for the trial of a North Tonawanda woman arrested in February for allegedly killing her boyfriend with a kitchen knife argued Wednesday in Niagara County Court over the admissibility of previous domestic incidents for which she was not charged. 

Jennifer Marchant, who is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge for the death of Ralph D. Stone inside an Oliver Street apartment, was involved in “two previous incidents” that took place separately three years ago, one of which involved the use of a knife, according to Niagara County Deputy District Attorney Doreen Hoffman. 

Hoffman added that no one was stabbed during the alleged encounters and charges were not filed.  

Defense attorney Dominic Saraceno said the fact that Marchant was never charged for either incident means that they should not be introduced during the trial, set to begin on Jan. 6. 

Saraceno said his reasons were threefold, including the “age of the prior uncharged allegation,” his view that there is “no nexus between those incidents and the case at hand” and that the “danger of prejudice far outweighs any prohibitive value.” 

“There was no report,” he said. “There was not enough evidence to charge her.” 

Hoffman and Saraceno have both submitted their positions in writing to Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas, who said during Wednesday’s proceedings that she would rule on the case via a written statement in approximately two weeks. 

Another pretrial hearing is scheduled for Dec. 11. Marchant remains free on $100,000 bail. 

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