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Plea possible in Falls homicide; bail denied

LOCKPORT – A plea offer is a possibility in a Niagara Falls homicide, but the defendant won’t be allowed out of jail in the meantime, State Supreme Court Justice Richard C. Kloch Sr. said Friday.

He denied a request for bail for Chamia N. Johnson, 34, of Seventh Street in the Falls. She is charged with second-degree murder in the Feb. 22 stabbing death of Antoine Mallory, 39, in the victim’s residence in the Monteagle Ridge Apartments.

Niagara County Deputy District Attorney Doreen M. Hoffmann, who previously said the homicide followed an argument over Mallory’s failure to pay Johnson’s cable TV bill as he had allegedly promised, said she intended to meet with Mallory’s family to discuss offering a plea. Kloch adjourned the case until July 14, but not before he rejected a request for bail for Johnson.

Assistant Public Defender Michele G. Bergevin said Johnson should get some credit for turning herself in to Falls police the day after the killing. Hoffmann said Johnson’ left Mallory’s apartment quickly and her whereabouts the rest of that night are still unknown. She also said Johnson has relatives in other states, making her a flight risk.

Kloch assured Johnson that he considers her innocent until proven guilty, but he said, “I have to follow my hunch. … I have no confidence you’re going to come back.”