Niagara Gazette — The hours leading up to the death of Ralph D. Stone became more clear on Friday in Niagara County Court following the testimony of several witnesses, while the jury also saw a video of a two-hour interview between police detectives and the person who killed him, Jennifer R. Marchant.
Marchant, 24, who is facing two counts of manslaughter, was interviewed by North Tonawanda Police Department detectives in the early morning hours of Feb. 7, less than two hours after police were first sent to her Oliver Street apartment.
In the video, which was recorded in an interrogation room at the department, Marchant told the authorities that Stone, her boyfriend since May 2012, was heavily intoxicated and had physically harmed her the night of Feb. 6 and two other times throughout their nine-month relationship.
In the interview that began at 12:40 a.m., Marchant also told police that Stone and several of his friends had spent much of the day drinking in the apartment — where she said she lived alone — without her permission and while she was supposed to be at work.
After leaving her apartment the morning of Feb. 6 and skipping work at an Amherst collection agency, she watched movies at the Niagara Falls home of her friend, Stephanie Dee. Sometime between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m., Stone and Marchant communicated via cell phone, when he told her that he was “partying” at her apartment.
During testimony Friday, Dee told the court that while Marchant was initially “irritated” the two eventually joined the party and participated in two rounds of the drinking game, beer pong, with Stone and his friends.
One of Stone’s friends, Ray Graney, whom Stone had met in an anger management class, also testified that Stone nearly became involved in a scuffle with a man at an Oliver Street convenience store that day.