TEXARKANA, Texas — A jury of seven men and five women was chosen Tuesday to decide the fate of a woman facing a charge of murder in the 2015 stabbing death of a Bowie County man.
Shirley Ann Falkowski, 56, is accused of stabbing James Earl Johnson to death in August 2015, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Jury selection took place Tuesday at the Texarkana, Texas, convention center before 5th District Judge Bill Miller. The convention center was used to allow the large group of potential jurors to socially distance.
Opening statements and testimony are expected to begin Wednesday morning at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston.
Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter is prosecuting and Assistant Public Defender Sylvia Delgado is representing Falkowski.
Members of the DeKalb Police Department requested assistance in the investigation from the Texas Rangers after Johnson's body was discovered Aug. 5, 2015, in his residence.
Witnesses reported that Falkowski may have been the last person to see Johnson alive.
Video surveillance allegedly showed Falkowski attempted to use Johnson's debit card to withdraw money from a DeKalb bank several times while driving a white Pontiac sedan.
Texas Rangers tracked down the car and learned from the owner that he had loaned it to Falkowski to move the day before.
A sample of blood collected from the car's interior allegedly was a match for Johnson's DNA.
According to the affidavit, the circumstances of Johnson's death are similar to a murder for which Falkowski served time in a Missouri prison. Court records in St. Louis show she pleaded guilty Sept. 29, 1998, to second-degree murder and armed criminal action. She received a 12-year term for murder and a three-year term for armed criminal action and the two sentences were run concurrently.
Falkowski is facing five to 99 years or life if convicted of murder in Texas. Her bond is set at $500,000.