Former Porn Performer Scarlett Rouge’s Manslaughter Conviction Overturned

Former Porn Performer Scarlett Rouge’s Manslaughter Conviction Overturned

Jennifer Marchant, a former internet pornography performer who stabbed her boyfriend to death in North Tonawanda four years ago, should not have been convicted, the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court concluded.

The court majority said the jury got it wrong when it rejected Marchant’s claim that she acted in self-defense.

Marchant’s conviction for first-degree manslaughter was overturned in a 3-2 vote of the judges. The court also dismissed the indictment.

The District Attorney’s Office has the right to appeal the case to the state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals — but that court isn’t required to take the case, said Lucian Chalfen, a spokesman for the state Office of Court Administration.

Edward P. Perlman, the lawyer who argued Marchant’s appeal, said the DA’s Office cannot try to obtain a fresh indictment.

“Jennifer will not face another trial,” Perlman said. “My understanding is, she’ll be released from prison and able to rejoin her family.”

District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek said her office is reviewing this decision to determine its options.

Defense attorney Dominic Saraceno, who represented Marchant at trial, was pleased with the appellate ruling.

“I think the jury clearly got it wrong, and the Appellate Division was wise enough to interpret the evidence correctly,” Saraceno said.

Niagara County Judge Sara Sheldon sentenced Marchant to 12 years in state prison for the death of Ralph D. Stone Jr., 24, whom Marchant stabbed in the chest on the night of Feb. 2, 2013.

Marchant, now 27, formerly performed in porn videos under the name “Scarlett Rouge.”

Marchant, Stone and a friend had been drinking heavily all day, and when they returned to Marchant’s Oliver Street apartment, she and Stone got into a loud argument.

Marchant called 911, and Stone hung up on the dispatcher, who called back twice. On one of the calls, Stone warned that if police came, “There would be trouble.”

The dispatcher sent officers anyway, and the first officer to enter heard screaming and an apparent struggle in the bathroom. Stone emerged from the bathroom and lunged at the officer, who tackled him and then found Stone bleeding profusely from a chest wound. A knife was found on the bathroom floor.

An autopsy found Stone’s blood alcohol content was measured at .285 percent, more than 3 ½ times the legal threshold for intoxication.

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