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Lackawanna man arraigned on second-degree murder charge in killing of girlfriend

A Lackawanna man was arraigned Friday on a murder charge in the fatal stabbing of his girlfriend earlier this month in their apartment on Wilkesbarre Avenue.

Damoni Hall, 21, pleaded not guilty in Erie County Court to an indictment charging him with second-degree murder for allegedly stabbing Tequila Suter, 26, to death on Feb. 15.

Her body was found the next day when a friend asked her brother, who was the supervisor of the apartment building where the victim lived, to go into Suter’s apartment and make sure she was OK after she failed to show up for Sunday church.

At Friday’s arraignment, homicide prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable asked Judge Michael L. D’Amico to order that Hall be held without bail, because of the maximum 25-year-to-life prison term he faces if convicted.

She also cited the strong case prosecutors have against him and what she said was an attempt to cover up the killing. She did not elaborate.

The judge remanded him to the Erie County Holding Center without bail.

Hall was taken into custody at a downtown attorney’s office in Buffalo at about 4 p.m. Thursday, according to Capt. Joseph Leo, Lackawanna chief of detectives, who declined to comment Thursday on the charges since the indictment was sealed.

But after Friday’s arraignment, he confirmed that Hall was Suter’s boyfriend and that they lived together in the first-floor apartment at Wilkesbarre and Lebanon Street. He said he did not know the motive of the killing.

Suter was employed as a teacher’s aide at Community Services for the Developmentally Disabled and as a counseling specialist for the Home Space organization. She had previously worked at Baker Victory Services.

Suter, a 2006 graduate of Lockport High School, moved to Lackawanna after she took the job at Baker Victory Services.

She was studying toward an online degree in criminal justice and child psychology, according to family members.