Niagara Gazette

Courts

May 16, 2013

NT manslaughter suspect posts bail, to seek a public defender

Niagara Gazette —

A North Tonawanda woman accused of killing her boyfriend with a kitchen knife was freed on $100,00 bond this week from Niagara County Jail, where she has been held since February.  

Jennifer R. Marchant, 23, will also apply for a public defender on Tuesday after dropping her private legal counsel during court proceedings on Thursday. 

Glenn Pincus, an attorney with the law firm HoganWillig, which has been representing Marchant since her arrest, said he had numerous conversations with her family, who had apparently been funding her legal team for the last several months, telling him that "they are not in a position to assist her." 

Niagara County Court Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas ordered Marchant to apply for a pubic defender before she returns to court Wednesday. 

Pincus maintained that a fatal stab wound to the neck area of Ralph D. Stone, 24, during an apparent domestic dispute, was an act of self-defense. 

"My firm continues to believe that she is not guilty of the charges filed against her," he said, after the court conference. 

She has employed that counsel since she was arrested inside her Oliver Street apartment after a call to police after she stabbed Stone, her boyfriend, during a fight. 

She was initially charged with second-degree murder, though the charge were reduced in April to first- and second-degree manslaughter. 

Niagara County Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann, said Marchant was released on bail Wednesday, while the county public defender's office would make a determination about representing her "based on her economic situation." 

Marchant was convicted twice for DWI in 2011 and 2012 and appeared in pornographic movies for several years. Stone was arrested 11 times between 2006 and 2010, including assault charges.

Friends of the victim said the two had a spat the night of the incident, when police found Stone bleeding inside Marchant's Oliver Street apartment. She allegedly used a 6-to 8-inch kitchen knife to inflict the wound. Stone died at the scene. 

Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.

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