Tonawanda News

December 12, 2013

Marchant trial set for January in NT

Staff Report
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — The trial of Jennifer R. Marchant will begin on Jan. 6, after a final pretrial hearing ensued Wednesday in Niagara County Court. 

Marchant is facing a second-degree manslaughter charge for stabbing her boyfriend, Ralph D. Stone, with a kitchen knife in February inside a second-floor Oliver Street apartment. 

Marchant has never denied the incident, but said it was the result of self defense. The trial was originally set to begin Nov. 18, though a family illness caused County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas to delay its start until the New Year. 

Marchant, who was initially charged with murder, turned down a plea offer tendered by the Niagara County District Attorney’s office, that would have sent her to prison for 15 years. She now faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on the manslaughter charge. 

Farkas said jury selection will being in January among a pool of 21. 

“Make sure you have that witness list that day,” Farkas told the defense and prosecution about the start of the trial. 

North Tonawanda police gave a vivid description of Stone’s death during a Huntley Hearing held in October, when officers described 911 calls that sent officers to the apartment, where Stone died as a result of the single stab wound to the neck area. 

The police statement were deemed admissible by Farkas. Both Stone and Marchant had a history of arrests.