Niagara Gazette

January 15, 2014

Marchant found guilty of manslaughter in NT stabbing case

By Mike Reagan
Niagara Gazette

A North Tonawanda woman was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter Wednesday in Niagara County Court for killing her boyfriend last year in her Oliver Street apartment. 

Jennifer R. Marchant, 24, will now spend up to 25 years in prison when she is sentenced on March 26, one year after she was freed on $100,000 bail for stabbing Ralph D. Stone once in his chest. 

After nearly two hours of deliberation Tuesday, it took only minutes on Wednesday morning for the jury of 10 men and two women to render a decision. Marchant was handcuffed and remanded to Niagara County Jail following the verdict.

The six-day trial included the testimony of three police officers who entered Marchant's second-floor apartment the evening of Feb. 6, moments after she stabbed Stone, who died on the kitchen floor shortly after their arrival. 

Marchant had admitted to grabbing a kitchen knife and inflicting the wound, but said it was in self-defense, claiming he chased her around the apartment, breaking through locked doors and twice aggressively pulling her hair. 

Marchant's attorney, Dominic Saraceno, said the verdict was the result of weak domestic violence laws in New York state compared to those in places like Florida.

Look for more on this story online and in Thursday's Gazette.