Tonawanda News

October 24, 2013

Marchant trial delayed

Staff Reports
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — A trial for a North Tonawanda woman accused of killing her boyfriend will be delayed to the New Year. 

Jennifer R. Marchant is facing a first-degree manslaughter charge for stabbing Ralph D. Stone to death in February inside an Oliver Street apartment. 

After months of pretrial hearings a trial date set for Nov. 18 will now be bumped up to Jan. 6, after Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas said she would need to leave the state to attend to a sick relative. 

“I have to move the case,” she told the court on Wednesday. “I’m sorry.” 

 The surprise announcement will give the defense more time to speak with witnesses, a venture sought by attorney Dominic Saraceno, who has been representing Marchant since taken over the case in May and who requested more time last month to prepare for the trial. 

Marchant, who has never denied the stabbing took place but said it was a product of self-defense, turned down an plea deal offered by Niagara County Assistant District Attorney Doreen Hoffman, which would have sent her to prison for up to 15 years. Marchant could now serve up to 25 years in prison if she is found guilty of the charge.  

Several North Tonawanda Police officers testified in September regarding the first several hours after Marchant and Stone were discovered Feb. 6 inside the second-floor apartment. Another pretrial hearing is set for Nov. 6.