Woman with prior murder conviction facing new murder charge

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A woman who was convicted of murder in Missouri in 1998 is now facing a murder charge in Bowie County, Texas.

Shirley Ann Falkowski, 54, was arrested in February in connection with the August 2015 stabbing death of James Earl Johnson, age unavailable. Johnson was discovered dead in his apartment on Oak Street in DeKalb, Texas, on Aug. 5, 2015, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The DeKalb Police Department and Texas Rangers determined Johnson was a friend of Falkowski’s and that the two had been seen together on the evening of Aug. 4, 2015. Video surveillance and banking records allegedly show Fulkowski attempted to use Johnson’s debit card at an ATM shortly after midnight Aug. 5, 2015.

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Fulkowski was interviewed by Texas Rangers on Aug. 7, 2015. At that time she claimed Johnson had given her his card to get cash for cigarettes but 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 Fulkowski his white four-door Pontiac because Fulkowski was moving. The car was seized by investigators and a search revealed a blood stain. A sample of the stain allegedly matched Johnson’s DNA.

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

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

Fulkowski appeared Thursday morning for a hearing before 5th District Judge Bill Miller. Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter said the state intends to present the case to a grand jury for formal indictment. If convicted of felony murder, Fulkowski faces five to 99 years or life in prison. She is currently being held in the Bowie County jail.

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