Falls man indicted in fatal stabbing at Hamburg mall

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, shown here in this file photo, has announced the arraignment of Niagara Falls resident Keith Sparks, who is facing a charge of second-degree murder in the stabbing death of his ex-girlfriend, Mallicia Tipps, inside the McKinley Mall in September. 

A Niagara Falls man who is accused of stabbing his ex-girlfriend to death inside a Town of Hamburg shopping mall in September was arraigned in an Erie County court this week. 

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announced that 44-year-old Keith Sparks of the Falls appeared before Erie County Court Judge Susan Eagan on an indictment charging him with one count of murder in the second degree, a Class “A-1” felony. The defendant was arraigned on Monday. 

It is alleged that on Sept. 25, 2019, at about 2 p.m., the defendant fatally stabbed his ex-girlfriend, 38-year-old Mallicia Tipps, inside the Sears store at the McKinley Mall in the Town of Hamburg. 

Sparks, of Independence Avenue in Niagara Falls, surrendered to Falls officers without incident on the day of the stabbing. 

Falls police went to the home in the 2400 block of Independence Avenue after Hamburg police advised them that the last known address of their prime suspect in the McKinley Mall murder was in the Falls.

Hamburg police had asked Falls cops to check the home, and the first officers on the scene found the suspect’s car parked at the rear of the residence.

City cops had called in their hostage negotiator and were activating their Emergency Response Team when Sparks suddenly came out of his house. Detectives said Sparks had been living on Independence Avenue for about a month.

Investigators have called the stabbing “a domestic incident.” 

The Erie County District Attorney’s Office said Sparks is scheduled to return on Dec. 4 for a pre-trial conference. He continues to remain held without bail.

If convicted on the charge, he faces a maximum of 25 years to life in prison.

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