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Suspect in McKinley Mall stabbing fatality due back in court Tuesday

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The suspect in the stabbing death of a Buffalo woman at McKinley Mall in Hamburg was arraigned in Hamburg Town Court Thursday. He has been scheduled to return to court for a felony hearing Tuesday morning and is currently being held without bail.

Keith Sparks, 43, is charged with second degree murder and second degree criminal possession of a weapon.

We are learning from police that Sparks had followed the victim - Mallicia Tipps, 38 - and her friend into the Sears store at the mall following an encounter in the parking lot. The two were boyfriend and girlfriend.

Police said Sparks then stabbed her several times. She died at the scene. Police have not released a motive for the attack.

The weapons charge stems from an accusation that Sparks pulled the trigger of a gun, but the weapon misfired. Police would not go into further detail about the gun.

A manhunt, interviews with the victim's family and witnesses, and investigation into security camera footage led to Sparks as the prime suspect. He was traced to an apartment he had in Niagara Falls, where he surrendered to police.

Mark Wozniak, WBFO's local All Things Considered host, has been at WBFO since mid-1978.
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