Niagara Falls Man Pleads Guilty in Death of East Side Restaurant Owner

Modified: March 5, 2018 4:55pm

3/5/2018

Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn announces that 26-year-old Jamell Chapman of Niagara Falls pleaded guilty before State Supreme Court Justice Russell Buscaglia to Manslaughter in the First Degree.

On July 17, 2016, Chapman and two other defendants were involved in the robbery and beating death of 79-year-old Upender Bawa, owner of the Taste of Life restaurant, in his apartment above the business on Sycamore Street in Buffalo.

Chapman faces a maximum of 25 years in prison when he is sentenced on Wednesday, April 18 at 11 a.m.

Both co-defendants, 31-year-old Shanita Chapman and 19-year-old Dalene McIlwain, are scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday, April 19 at 9:30 a.m. before Justice Buscaglia. Shanita Chapman pleaded guilty to Attempted Robbery in the First Degree on May 30, 2017. Dalene McIlwain pleaded guilty to Robbery in the First Degree on April 20, 2017.

DA Flynn commends the investigative work of the Buffalo Police Homicide Squad, including Detective Sgt. Carl Lundine and Detectives Joy Jermain, Patricia Wrest, James Kaska and Brendan Kiefer.

John Patrick Feroleto, Chief of the DA’s Felony Trials Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Ashley Morgan of the DA’s Tactical Prosecution Unit prosecuted the case.