A year from the day that police found Lenora Tyes’ body hidden in her Dodge Street home, her son admitted in court that he killed her.
William R. Tyes, 39, who had been charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 67-year-old mother, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter Wednesday morning in Erie County Court. Judge Kenneth F. Case accepted the plea with the understanding that Tyes will face the possibility of 15 to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced March 16.
Tyes, who also is a convicted sex offender and known drug user, had been scheduled for trial March 7 on the murder charge. That date was set after he backed out of an identical manslaughter plea in August, apparently hoping for a better deal.
He didn’t get one. Assistant District Attorney Gary W. Hackbush said the plea was the same that Tyes turned down last summer. He also said members of Mrs. Tyes’ family, some of whom were in court Wednesday, agreed that the plea was an acceptable resolution.
Mrs. Tyes was well-liked by her neighbors, and they considered her an important part of the community. According to authorities, she was last seen alive Feb. 6, 2015. When other family members couldn’t reach her, they notified police, who went to her home to check on her welfare. They found her remains hidden in an alcove. She had been beaten to death.
Tyes, who has a history of offenses involving theft and stolen property, was arrested the next day and has been held without bail since that time.
On Wednesday, Tyes was unemotional when he finally took responsibility for the fatal attack on his mother.