Waterloo/Geneva stabbing

Police work the scene Friday in Geneva.

WATERLOO — The husband of a Geneva Middle School teacher has been charged with murder in her death.

John W. Gray III, 38, of Waterloo, was charged Friday night by state police with second-degree murder. Police announced the arrest in an updated press release Friday after the Times went to press for its weekend edition.

Gray is accused of killing Ashia M. Chilson-Gray, 40, at her home on East River Street in the village of Waterloo. Her body was found by Waterloo police when they went to her home Friday morning for a welfare check.

State police, who are leading the investigation, did not say how she was killed.

Later that morning, Geneva police responded to a report of shots fired at Elmcrest Apartments on Lewis Street in the city. Geneva Police Chief Mike Passalacqua said later that report turned out to be unfounded.

However, police remained at the scene until close to 2 p.m. while a man believed to be John Gray was barricaded in a fifth-floor apartment, possibly with a gun. Numerous police officers from several agencies eventually responded to the scene, as well as family and friends of the man inside.

During that time, family and friends of the man — they referred to him as Johnny — pleaded with him to surrender by making numerous phone calls to him. A SWAT team from the Ontario County sheriff’s office was positioned, but did not deploy.

The man surrendered about 1:25 p.m. and was handcuffed outside the apartment complex. He was put in a state police car and sat there for about 30 minutes before being taken away by state police.

At that time, Mark Eifert, a senior investigator for the state police, told the media the man was a person of interest in the Waterloo case. Neither he nor Passalacqua identified Gray by name.

Passalacqua said the man apparently was wanted in connection with the Waterloo incident and also an assault in Cayuga County. He declined to go into specifics on those cases, saying that information had to come from state police.

As of Sunday, the state police and Cayuga County sheriff’s office had not released any additional information on that case.

Just before 3 p.m. Friday, the Geneva City School District issued a message to parents and community members on the sudden death of Chilson-Gray, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Geneva Middle School. Superintendent Patricia Garcia said the district was making counselors and mental health professionals available for students.

John Gray was taken to the Seneca County Correctional Facility for arraignment, but state police did not say what bail was set. Police said more information will be released when it becomes available, and the investigation is continuing.

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