MAYVILLE – A City of Jamestown man was arraigned on second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter charges in connection with the 2014 death of Nayla Hodnett Monday morning in Chautauqua County Court.
Tyler A. “Cash” Perez, 35, of Jamestown, was arrested last week on a warrant related to the charges.
Bail was set at $500,000 cash or $1 million property by Judge Stephen Cass. Cass, however, did say that a judge from Buffalo will be presiding.
WNYNewsNow spoke with Public Defender Ned Barone following the arraignment. Barone declined to discuss the specifics of the indictment, but he said that the charges are “merely an accusation” and that the “presumption of innocence” remains. In addition, Barone said that Perez has maintained his innocence for several years.
Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson declined to common on specifics of the indictment, citing that the case is ongoing. At the time WNYNewsNow interviewed Swanson and Barone, the connection between Perez and the Hodnett case wasn’t immediately confirmed.
“With any case of this nature, if it’s left unresolved, it continues to be looked at for analysis of different evidence, witnesses coming forward,” Swanson said. “I wouldn’t call it a cold case because it was always on the front burner, but additional information sometimes gets you where you are.”
Swanson said that, within the last couple of weeks, a Chautauqua County Grand Jury met to discuss a potential indictment, but didn’t say when. In addition, Swanson said the Perez case and Rance Freeman murder indictment are examples of law enforcement remaining resilient.
“If you ask anyone involved in this line of work, including the officers investigating, there is no stopping on these cases until they’re resolved,” Swanson said. “The (Rance) Freeman case is a testament to the (Chautauqua) Sheriff’s Department continuing their work, and this case, this is JPD. We don’t ignore these cases, we continue to look at them.”
WNYNewsNow will continue to provide additional information on this case when it becomes available.