Smithville man gets five years in prison for manslaughter

NORWICH – The Smithville man who stabbed his co-worker and girlfriend's ex-boyfriend during a fist fight outside of his home was sentenced to five years in prison.

In March of 2014, 30-year-old Kyle V. Whitfield was arrested for murder in the second degree, a class A-1 felony.

Whitfield had a physical altercation with his co-worker and girlfriend's ex-boyfriend, 33-year-old James G. Button of Greene, which started inside Whitfield's Smithville residence and ended outside the home.

On March 3, 2014, at approximately 3:20 p.m., outside Whitfield’s residence in Smithville, Whitfield stabbed Button four times with a folding knife causing his death.

According to authorities, Whitfield's girlfriend called 911 to complain that Button was trespassing before the stabbing took place and later there was a second 911 phone call reporting the stabbing.

When NYSP arrived at the residence, authorities said Button was pronounced dead at the scene.

Whitfield was indicted for manslaughter in the first degree, a class B felony, on March 20, 2014.

It was alleged, per the indictment, Whitfield intended to cause physical injury to Button by stabbing him, not to cause his death, but it was also alleged that in stabbing him, Whitfield did cause Button's death.

Whitfield pleaded not guilty and prepared to go to trial. He faced up to 25 years.

On March 9, 2015, Whitfield withdrew his not guilty plea and pleaded guilty to the class B felony of manslaughter in the first degree.

According to District Attorney Joseph A. McBride at the March 9 court proceeding, Button was looking for Whitfield's girlfriend's mother, which led to the argument that ensued.

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