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WARREN Man pleads innocent to manslaughter charge



Published: Fri, July 6, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Police say they are not sure what spurred the fight but said they believe the suspect and victim had been friends.

By PEGGY SINKOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- A 40-year-old Parkman Road man pleaded innocent to a voluntary manslaughter charge.

Gary Smith entered the plea Thursday in the municipal courtroom of Judge Terry Ivanchak.

Smith is being held in the county jail in lieu of a $500,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:15 a.m. July 13.

Smith told the judge that he does not have money to hire an attorney. Judge Ivanchak said a public defender will be appointed.

Police said they believe Smith killed Donald Dukes, 41, of Oak Street S.W. around 10 p.m. Wednesday during a fight.

Police said Dukes was stabbed as he stood in front of 1135 Oak Street during an altercation with Smith. Dukes lived nearby at 1124 Oak.

Dukes was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph Health Center, where he died about 10:25 p.m.

Police said they are not sure what caused the fight or why the two were fighting. Police said they believe the two had been friends.

No comment: Smith declined to comment in court.He had bruises on his face, which police say occurred during the fight. Reports state that Smith was taken to a local hospital and treated.

Police said Smith fled after Dukes was stabbed. Officers did not say if Smith was found by police or if he surrendered.

Police said they confiscated what they suspect is the weapon from the scene.

The Trumbull County coroner's office performed an autopsy Thursday afternoon and results are pending, officials said.

Police declined to say how many times Dukes was stabbed.

Police officials said this is the city's third homicide of the year.




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