Newark man takes plea deal in stabbing death

Vaughn Gray has accepted a plea deal in the stabbing death of a Sodus High School senior last December in Newark.

Whether he testifies against his co-defendant remains to be seen.

Gray, 19, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Wayne County Court to first-degree manslaughter in the Dec. 9 death of Zackary Dwello, 17. The charge is a class B felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.

Judge Daniel Barrett will sentence Gray to 18 years in prison after co-defendant Hunter Peck’s trial concludes. Peck’s trial is slated to begin in late October.

Gray admitted that he, along with Peck, took part in robbing Dwello on the night of Dec. 8 near Perkins Park. Police said Dwello drove his parents’ car to the site for reasons that are still unknown and went to an area with a large number of evergreen trees.

After he was stabbed, police said Dwello was able to get back to the car — it was about 50 yards away from where he was knifed — and call 911. Newark police responded, finding Dwello in a pool of blood.

Dwello was able to speak to officers briefly before passing out. He did not identify suspects by name, but did say the assailant was a white male.

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