Defendant’s Flu Halts Murder Trial


A trial that was supposed to begin this week for a woman accused of stabbing a DeKalb, Texas, man to death in 2015 has been postponed because the defendant is sick with the flu.

Shirley Ann Falkowski, 54, is charged with murder in the death of James Earl Johnson, 71.

Officials with the Bowie County District Attorney’s Office said the trial will be rescheduled when Falkowski appears next month before 5th District Judge Bill Miller and she is no longer suffering from flu. Falkowski has been held in the Bowie County jail since her arrest last year.

Falkowski was arrested in February 2019 in connection with the Aug. 5, 2015, stabbing death of Johnson, who was discovered dead in his DeKalb, Texas, apartment on Oak Street. Witnesses allegedly reported seeing Johnson and Falkowski together Aug. 4, 2015, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Falkowski was interviewed by Texas Rangers on Aug. 7, 2015. At that time she allegedly claimed Johnson had given her his debit card to get cash for cigarettes but said that it did not work because she didn’t have the correct PIN number. Investigators tracked down the white car she was seen driving at the bank and spoke to the owner.

The owner allegedly reported that he had loaned Falkowski his white four-door Pontiac because she needed it for a move. The car was seized by investigators and a search revealed a bloodstain. A sample of the stain allegedly matched Johnson’s DNA.

Falkowski was interviewed a second time Feb. 12, 2019, by Texas Ranger Greg Wilson at the DeKalb police department. Falkowski allegedly confessed to stabbing Johnson in August 2015 at the February interview this year.

Online sources show Falkowski pleaded guilty and received a 12-year term for second-degree murder in St. Louis, Mo., in September 1998.

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