Niagara Gazette

Local News

April 28, 2014

Falls murder victim ID'd; motive for stabbing still under investigation

Falls police have identified the victim of the city's first homicide of 2014.

Investigators say the victim was Richard A. Christian Jr., 22, whose last known address was on Caravelle Drive.

The suspect in the slaying, Ashley Marie Berger, 31, 615 Third St., was arraigned in Falls City Court Monday morning. She pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder. 

She was ordered held without bail.

Berger is accused of stabbing Christian to death at a motel in the 400 block of Main Street early Sunday morning.

Police said they were called to the Rodeway Inn Motel, at about 2:56 a.m., and found Christian with a single stab wound to his chest.

"The officers found him outside the motel room, on the ground in a pool of blood," Falls Police Detective Lt. Mike Trane said. "We believe he was stabbed inside the room and then went outside and collapsed."

Trane said Berger was still at the motel, which is near her home, when patrol officers got there.

Christian was rushed to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

Police had little to say about the relationship between Berger and Christian on Monday or what may have lead to the murder.

"We're working on more about their relationship," Trane said on Sunday of Berger and Christian.

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