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Man, 51, charged in Town of Tonawanda death of 49-year-old woman

A 51-year-old man was charged Wednesday in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found Tuesday night in a home on Dumas Place in the Sheridan Parkside neighborhood in the Town of Tonawanda.

Mario Turner was arraigned in Town of Tonawanda Court before Justice Daniel T. Cavarello on charges of criminally negligent homicide and criminal possession of a weapon.

Turner was being held without bail in the Erie County Holding Center, according to his public defender, Nicholas T. Texido, who said his client will seek to make an application for bail in New York State Supreme Court within the next few days.

A felony hearing for Turner was set for 11 a.m. Monday, Texido said.

Police have not provided many details about the 49-year-old woman who was found dead in Sheridan Parkside.

Officers responded to an address on Dumas Place, where a body was discovered inside a residence just before 9 p.m., said police spokesman Lt. Thomas Haynes.

Her death was considered suspicious, but police have not said how she died.

An investigation was continuing.

Dumas Place is a small street off Sheridan Parkside Drive lined with one- and two-story apartment buildings.

By Wednesday morning, officers had left the scene and removed the police tape that had marked off the scene hours earlier.

Rachel Ketchum, who lives across the street from the apartment where the body was found, said she heard a woman screaming at around 9 p.m. Tuesday.

When she went to her window, she saw an agitated man running out of the house talking on the phone with a 911 dispatcher. Soon, one, two — and then more — police vehicles showed up.

"I have a 2-year-old," Ketchum said. "To know that can happen right across the street?"

Daniel Yemchuk lives down the road from the building where the body was found.

"They completely shut the street down for the night," he said of the town police.

He said he's lived in the neighborhood for two years – and hadn't had any problems until two months ago, when an acquaintance stole his safe with $2,000 in it.

"Is it safe anywhere?" Yemchuk said.

One neighbor, who lives two doors down from the woman's apartment, said she didn't know the couple that lived there well.

Pat McCauley, the owner of the building, said he's shocked by the woman's death. He said she and her partner had lived in the apartment for three or four years without any problems.

"They were good tenants," McCauley said.

He said he doesn't know what happened, but he talked to the male tenant a week or so ago and had no indication of any trouble.

"Not a sign," McCauley said.

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