VINELAND - City police said a stabbing Monday that left a local resident dead and his assailant injured had its roots in a fistfight that involved the two men a few days earlier.

Authorities allege that Johnnie R. Malloy and two other men went looking for Jovelle Blackwell on Monday with the intent of resuming the fight.

Police said that Malloy, 31, of the 200 block of North East Avenue, and the men found Blackwell, 34, in the backyard of a home in the 700 block of Humbert Street. Blackwell also lives in the 700 block of Humbert Street, police said.

The 2:25 p.m. confrontation resulted in Blackwell stabbing Malloy in the chest with a folding pocket knife, police said. Malloy was eventually pronounced dead at Inspira Medical Center Vineland, they said.

Blackwell was subsequently assaulted by the two men who accompanied Malloy, police said. Blackwell suffered several injuries, including a large laceration to his left hand, they said. He was treated at the medical center and released.

Now, Blackwell is charged with manslaughter, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and unlawful possession of a weapon. He is being held in the Cumberland County jail in Bridgeton on $250,000 bail.

No information was immediately available from police about the two men who accompanied Malloy. Police Chief Timothy Codispoti said officers are still conducting an investigation into their identities and role in Monday's incident.

The stabbing occurred in a neighborhood with a mix of single- and multi-family homes, along with the C & D Garden Apartments. The backyard of the property where the stabbing occurred abuts Roberto Clemente Park, which has athletic fields and a children's playground.

According to authorities, police were initially heading to the C & D Garden Apartments in response to an assault report. Responding officers were then flagged down near Humbert and South Eighth streets by people who reported a stabbing victim, authorities said. An injured Malloy was then found in the backyard of the Humbert Street residence, they said.

While investigating the stabbing, police said a caller who lived in the apartment complex reported that Blackwell, a family member, had been assaulted and injured.

Police said witnesses told them a fight had occurred behind the Humbert Street residence where Malloy was found. Police said Blackwell was "hanging out" with friends in the backyard of that property when he was confronted by Malloy and the two other men.

Malloy and Blackwell had reportedly engaged in a fistfight several days earlier, and police said Malloy was looking to fight him again. No information was available about the fistfight.

After Malloy was stabbed and Blackwell was injured, Blackwell fled the Humbert Street property while others at the scene tended to Malloy, police said. Blackwell went to a residence at the apartment complex and eventually to the medical center, they said. Blackwell was arrested after his release from the medical center, they said.

Authorities said they found the knife used in the incident.

State Police records show this is the first manslaughter incident in this city this year. The city had one manslaughter incident through May 2012.

Anyone with information about Monday's incident is asked to call Detective Richard Burke of the Police Department here at 856-691-4111, ext. 4181.

Contact Thomas Barlas:

609-226-9197