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Jamestown man pleads guilty to manslaughter in stabbing case

A Jamestown who was accused of stabbing another man to death more than three years ago has pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.

According to the Chautauqua County Court Clerk’s Office, Tavion Turner, 22, took a plea today to a reduced count of first-degree manslaughter with a sentencing promise of between 18-22 years determinate plus 5 years post-release supervision.

He will be sentenced on Sept. 22 at 9:30 a.m.

Jury selection was scheduled to commence today for Turner who was indicted by a grand jury in May 2019 on two counts of second-degree murder and has remained in Chautauqua County Jail on $1 million cash bail.

At the time of his arrest, Turner was 20 years old. He had been connected to the Nov. 28, 2017, stabbing death of 22-year-old Dyllan Ownbey, a resident of the Frewsburg area.

According to Jamestown police, Ownbey was walking down Willard Street with another person prior to being stabbed. Witnesses told police they saw two people fighting near the intersection between Peterson and Eagle streets.

After being injured, Ownbey was rushed to UPMC Chautauqua where he died from a stab wound to his upper chest area.

Turner had been scheduled to stand trial in November 2019 and again in May 2020, but those dates continued to be pushed back. Turner was represented by Jamestown attorney Avery Olson.

John Flynn, the Erie County district attorney, had been appointed special prosecutor. In a news release, he commended the Jamestown Police Department for their work in the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Chief Gary W. Hackbush of the Homicide Bureau and Assistant District Attorney John G. Schoemick of the Felony Trials Bureau.

Because Flynn was appointed the special prosecutor, Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt declined to comment on the case.

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