Smithville man's death ruled a homicide

SMITHVILLE – A Smithville man’s death after a bar fight last weekend has been ruled a homicide, according to the Chenango County Sheriff’s Department.

Chance E. Howey, 31, was pronounced dead at Wilson Memorial in Johnson City early Monday morning. About 24 hours earlier, he’d been was involved in a fight outside Seeber’s Tavern in the Town of Smithville.

Sheriff Ernest R. Cutting Jr. said a preliminary autopsy report by the Onondaga County Medical Examiner’s Office yesterday determined the manner of death to be homicide.

“The chief medical examiner has ruled Mr. Howey’s death as a homicide. The cause of death was determined to be a brain injury caused during the physical altercation that occurred outside Seeber’s Tavern on Jan. 30. The brain injury was caused by a blow to the victim’s head consistent with being punched,” the press release stated.

The Sheriff’s Office has not identified the other man involved in the fight, but said he’s acquired an attorney and is also a Smithville resident.

No charges have been filed, but Cutting said police are working closely with District Attorney Joseph McBride to determine any possible criminal charges.

More details will appear in Thursday’s Evening Sun.

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