Judge rules statements admissible in case of accused killer - The Buffalo News
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Judge rules statements admissible in case of accused killer

LOCKPORT – Statements made to police by Jennifer Marchant, who is charged with first-degree manslaughter in the Feb. 6 stabbing death of her boyfriend in North Tonawanda, were ruled admissible Wednesday in Niagara County Court.

Police said in pretrial hearings that Marchant, 24, claimed she acted in self-defense as the victim, Ralph D. Stone Jr., was still bleeding in the apartment they shared at 580 Oliver St.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas read North Tonawanda police statements in court. Police said that when they arrived, the suspect was screaming.

Officer Robert J. Frank testified that although he did not question her, she told him, “He was coming at me.”

Officer Timothy R. Sylvester said in the statements that although he asked her no questions, Marchant told him, “Ralph was so drunk ... or words to that effect.”

Farkas noted the two statements made to police were spontaneous and therefore admissible. Farkas also noted the written statement given to detectives also was admissible.

“I have only one word – gentle. They were very gentle ... in this interview,” Farkas said of the officers.

She said detectives gave Marchant the proper Miranda warnings did not handcuff her or close the door, offered her water and gave her the opportunity to read the statement out loud before she signed it.

“There was no force or coercion. Everything is admissible,” Farkas said.

Another pretrial hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. Oct. 23.

email: nfischer@buffnews.com

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