Woman ac­cused in fa­tal stab­bing faces trial

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - THE TIMES HERALD - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­media. com @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

A judge has set a Fe­bru­ary trial date for a Nor­ris­town woman ac­cused of fa­tally stab­bing her step­fa­ther in the leg dur­ing an ar­gu­ment in their home.

Montgomery County Judge Todd D. Eisen­berg set Feb. 7 as the day jury se­lec­tion will com­mence for the trial of Shakira Hay­ward in con­nec­tion with the March 9, 2016, stab­bing death of her 37-year-old step­fa­ther, Kenneth Bul­lock. The judge in­di­cated he will hear any pre­trial mo­tions im­me­di­ately be­fore jury se­lec­tion be­gins.

The trial is ex­pected to last sev­eral days.

Hay­ward, 24, of the 300 block of East Mar­shall Street, faces charges of third-de­gree mur­der, vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter, pos­sess­ing an in­stru­ment of crime and tam­per­ing with or fab­ri­cat­ing ev­i­dence.

A con­vic­tion of third-de­gree mur­der, which is an un­jus­ti­fied killing com­mit­ted with mal­ice, car­ries a max­i­mum sen­tence of 20 to 40 years in prison upon con­vic­tion. A con­vic­tion of vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter car­ries a pos­si­ble max­i­mum sen­tence of 10 to 20 years in prison.

Ear­lier this year, de­fense lawyer Matthew W. Quigg failed to con­vince the judge to dis­miss the third-de­gree mur­der charge against Hay­ward. At that time, Quigg ar­gued pros­e­cu­tors failed to present any ev­i­dence of “mal­ice,” which is a hard­ness of heart, wicked­ness of dis­po­si­tion or a reck­less in­dif­fer­ence to­ward the value of hu­man life.

Quigg ar­gued with the ab­sence of mal­ice the crime is more akin to man­slaugh­ter and he sug­gested Hay­ward was act­ing in self-de­fense dur­ing the al­ter­ca­tion, dur­ing which Bul­lock

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