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Murder suspect’s parents plead guilty to obstruction

Published: Thu, April 8, 2010 @ 12:04 a.m.




John Houser Sr. and Frances Cianciola of Volney Road, parents of murder suspect Jamar Houser, pleaded guilty Wednesday to a reduced charge of obstructing justice in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court.

The elder Houser, 46, and Cianciola, 42, initially were charged with intimidation for reportedly threatening to kill a witness in their son’s case.

Jamar Houser, 19, of Volney Road, is charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery with death-penalty specifications in the fatal shooting of Angeline Fimognari, 80, of Sheridan Road. The younger Houser, who also was charged with being a felon with a gun, remains jailed under $3.1 million bond.

Fimognari was shot to death in the parking lot of St. Dominic Church on the city’s South Side after she left Mass there Jan. 23.

Intimidation is a third-degree felony, for which the available prison-sentence range is one to five years. Obstructing justice is a fifth-degree felony, which has a prison sentence range from six to 12 months.

Rebecca L. Doherty, an assistant county prosecutor, said in the plea agreements of the elder Houser and Cianciola that she is recommending probation for them, however.

Doherty said she made the deal because she believes obstructing justice more accurately reflects what the elder Houser and Cianciola did, but she declined to discuss details of the case.

Doherty said she recommended probation because she believes having Houser’s parents on probation gives Judge Lou A. D’Apolito of common pleas court more control over them than giving them a short prison term that would end before their son’s case is resolved.

“My goal is to keep them from either interfering or having anything to do with this ongoing case,” Doherty said, referring to Jamar Houser’s case.

Although the elder Houser has a prior criminal record, Cianciola does not, Doherty noted.

Judge D’Apolito will sentence the elder Houser and Cianciola at 11:30 a.m. May 21. He ordered them to have no contact with anyone connected with their son’s case, which also is assigned to his court.

Judge D’Apolito released the elder Houser on his own recognizance pending sentencing.

Houser previously had been jailed under a $250,000 bond. Cianciola remains free on $100,000 bond.


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"“My goal is to keep them from either interfering or having anything to do with this ongoing case,” Doherty said, referring to Jamar Houser’s case."

Keep them in the slammer then ! With no witness Jamar is back on the streets .

Rebecca L. Doherty seems to be clueless . Jamar's parents are not impressed by the law .

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2Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Not so fast here,..

See like all with decency and diligent vehemence about upholding administering severe justice upon those of such callous conduct.

Such an occurrence isn't comforting, popular nor received with public support but at times fruitfully necessary.

So as a manner of urging to slow the roll on anyone conclusively citing this assistant prosecutor as failing justice.

This could signify there's some cooperation going on here via back channel. In a manner of leveraging that's providing valuable and actionable insight in regards to a host of things.

See I'd fret to think anybody down at city hall would dare be negligently lenient to anyone in conjunction with this horrid crime that nobody wants to be given mercy or any reprieve for.

Thus not knowing how enforcement is working this and who's decided to provide assistance that won't openly come as public knowledge.

In a manner of respecting that and allowing all members of justice to do their jobs based upon such a plea.

Lets allow this to play out a bit more and let the DA and detectives work the channels they're afforded to crack this case and possibly even more activity than we're aware of.

See the rule of justice and navigation of effective law, apprehension and prosecution. Requires those balancing scales to equate into effect more than appearance.

Where in this case and not dealing with a penny candy theft type ordeal and suspected individuals. There's likely more fruit to bear by shaking a branch of the tree with such levity in order to achieve ridding society of more rotten fruit.

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3boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Whats next? Double Secret Probation?

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4Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


"This could signify there's some cooperation going on here via back channel."

Or it could signify political pressure being put on for Jarmar's parents behalf .

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5boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Change the signs now!

"Welcome to Youngstown, where if nobody gets killed while you are comitting your crime, You don't go to jail! "

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6Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


You're preposterous,..

Those people bear NO clout of political influence what so ever.

City wide nobody condones the acts of those individuals nor their heinous murder suspect son.

I can tell you as fact that the mere polarized mention of their names and suspected conduct of their son.

Is so persona non grata that if they endorsed a candidate it'd be an immense disfavor.

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7Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Nunya :

"Those people bear NO clout of political influence what so ever."

However, those who have sympathy for them do have clout . Their treatment bears evidence of such .

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8Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


Calm down a bit,..

There's going to be no double secret probation and to allege such is a baseless farce that steers resentment for the assistant prosecutor.

Listen, I understand you see those individuals as red meat and rightfully so I might add.

However, in the channels of investigation and prosecution. Unfortunately you can't always just devour the meat or feed off low hanging fruit for individual gratification.

That is if they're of a variety where more pelts and seedlings can be harvested via employing such levity.

See not all that get apprehended fit the description. Thus be it known that what has been reported as the manner of how the son was tracked and apprehended.

Rest assure he's certainly not a lamb that was merely bred nor harbored in his parents house and those parents and prosecutors both know that.

Also those parents soliciting such an act of obstruction bears note that they know some seedy characters.

Max them without levity and the seedy characters remain anonymous and all you net is inheriting the room and board of two individuals that weren't going to carry it out themselves,.. you need to get those seedy characters they know.

So via way of police work if you're interested in tracking every footprint and connecting various identities you can get out of them.

You place options and ultimatums on the table through their counsel and let them make a decision. On just how staunch they are about not cooperating and bringing something of actionable value into play.

Trust me an array of the defense you've been globally provided was achieved via such a stare down science.

Granted I don't know the prosecutor and I'm in no way associated with inside info in regards to how this is being handled.

So the assistant prosecutor could be posturing weak here. But I sincerely doubt it because judicially there's nothing to gain by allotting such a collaboration.

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9ricnsherri(41 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Yeah, they're gonna testify againt the son, I'm sure about that huh.

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10Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Nunya :

"Max them without levity and the seedy characters remain anonymous and all you net is inheriting the room and board of two individuals that weren't going to carry it out themselves,.. you need to get those seedy characters they know. "

The other son is out of prison and he is the seedy character who is capable of whacking the witness . Now with moma and daddy out of prison they will be able to get the dirty deed organized . Sacrifice the witness and then you have a case against three of them but a weak case against Jamar . So who wins here ?

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11boardmanneedschange(364 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Lay off the pipe.

First, I suggest a ten year moratorium on suspended sentences and leniency of any form for criminals who commit crimes in Mahoning county. Give every person who breaks the law the maximum penalty and don't let up for one second, white or black or purple or yellow. See how crime drops when these soulless heathens realize that hard time awaits them.

Second, once these losers are locked up lets not let them waste their time making plans with other criminals on what they are going to rob when they get out. Let's transform the prison system into a manufacturing work farm. WITHOUT PAY. And 100 percent of any proceeds from sales of products made by criminals go towards housing more jackasses who break the law. Make them fund their own incarceration, as well as the cost of employing more full time officers to keep our streets safe from these mongrels.

Third, Immediately begin drug testing for public assistance. You want a handout from the state and federal government, you better make time during your BUSY days for a weekly drug test. You fail, bye bye free money. Allotments will be made for food vouchers so you can feed your kids, but your days of buying rims and 12 inch speakers are loooong gone.


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12computer_rick(137 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


If one were to follow your logic, which I assume implies that the police and the prosecutors made this deal with Moms and Pops so as to get more inside info on their number 1 son, well, that would also be to imply that LE in Y-Town have a long and glowing history of working this inside track to conviction of law breakers in Y-Town.

Seriously? I mean, you're kidding, right? I can never tell when folks are being sarcastic on these darn boards. Pretty good one though!

Remember when the term "criminal family" meant the Mafia? Back then, if a car blew up, chances are it was someone from another "family". And the restaurants they had as fronts served some darn good food!

These days "criminal family" means Mom, Pop, all the little brothers and sisters. And these folk don't cook food, they cook crack. And nowadays when someone gets killed in Youngstown, it doesn't mean they were "asking for it". Now, you just have to be a little old lady going to Church.

Be interesting to see how long THIS one gets dragged out for. And if they end up pulling the plug on a death penalty specification due to all this "inside behind the scenes" work going on.

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13kornersburgkid(57 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

"Obstructing justice is a fifth-degree felony, which has a prison sentence range from six to 12 months". These two a**holes will be out in a couple of months for "good behavior. Must be related to Maurice Clarrett

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14Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

You stated,
Lay off the pipe"

My take is that it is not crack that causes this disruptive speech pattern but is in fact psilocybin mushrooms in conjunction with a disconcerting love of Shakespeare.

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15Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Silence_Dogood :

"My take is that it is not crack that causes this disruptive speech pattern but is in fact psilocybin mushrooms in conjunction with a disconcerting love of Shakespeare."

That may not be the case . He may be injesting Bufotenine and related 5-hydroxy-indolethylamines AKA Bufo alvarius .


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16Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


Can you imagine if that could be the case. It's exactly what is needed.

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17Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


Here's the thing,..

I understand and respect the frustration and the sharing of inferences you recall that contributed to forming your initial opinion.

Where just like it's understood and can't be understated that witness intimidation is serious and to the extreme in manner and can't be taken lightly.

One also has to be grounded in the understanding that just like great cops, upstanding judges and supportive citizens are vital to a collective sum of cohesion.

Bear in mind that prosecution is a capacity that also has to act upon a unison accord. Of orchestrating in a manner and negotiating in manners where society and or the area are being positioned as the winners here.

That means even when a action isn't initially popular because it's not favored or looked at with sound objectivity.

Here's a case where those whom would like to frame the false impression. That I'm supposed to be somehow bias to favoring the public citizen, children, against the judicial order.

Or even that I'd have something against due process of law. Will continue to fail miserably trying so assail I bear such a bias,.. I'm alone in holding off resentment of the assistant prosecutors position just yet.

However, in a strange way I'm actually pleased the general public initially feels so strongly in opposition to what they perceive as coddling criminals.

But I'm here to share a perspective that sheds a differing take on how this ordeal doesn't necessarily mean they're on the right track in how they're perceiving this action.

For which my not playing to a popularity poll or opinion here. I'm sharing what I'm inclined to believe and from an educated guess derived from considerable experience extracted from dealing with various negotiations,.. not all have though.

So surely my perspective won't be readily understood by others of the lesser experienced within the general populous,.. and I can accept that.

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18ElPolloRetrasado(212 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Put all three of them down, it's justifiable! Nunya, you are an idiot and obviously have to much time on your hands hence the fifty line comments!! Obviously a relative of the Houser clan!!

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19Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


Be informed there El Dodo bird { have someone read this to you },..

In exchanging gleaned insight I unquestionably find you a mere unhinged egg head that's either a drunk or of habitual drug dependency.

That's campaigning to be hailed as emperor of all non cerebrally empowered dummies,.. see how that works El Estúpido.

See that's not because we disagree here. But because it's impossible for me to recognize you as anything less than a mutated misuse of mortality.

Bearing the double conundrum of being a mangled misfit of alphabet atrocity as your identity { oh solo meal },.. LMAO !!!

See just because I refuse to prematurely jump on the rag and haggle the assistant prosecutor for a plea agreement. That as it stands I'd not feel would have been accepted if not for mitigating circumstance of beneficial magnitude.

For which I strongly suspect is an act of prosecutorial levity more than criminal complicity as you're so prematurely assuming it to be,.. if not whats prosecutions gain there Dr. Evil?

See as well as having already explained the machinations of what I perceive to be going on here. Add to the fact that their murder suspect son hasn't been even considered to be released, no charges have been dropped or reduced nor has his bail been effected.

Or in your wild eyed knee jerk impulse of idiocy view do you presume all that as an oversight and anticipate the bail for their son is mysteriously going to drop?,.. come on you conspiracy driven loon.

See where it'd been respected had you disagreed with my take. Of my begrudgingly refraining from alleging to sense some dirty deal by going down.

In favor of giving the prosecutor the benefit of the doubt of knowing what they're doing and for just cause,.. I understand you'd know nothing about such rational thought, patience, probing or posturing.

By and or if you'd have presented a contrast view of coherent cross to be presented for community review. Agree or disagree it'd been taken as perspective instead of presenting yourself as a punchline to be prodded.

Which is now moot because you make it evident you bear no such sense to present viable objectivity or make any sense at all,.. know what I mean there El Stooge?

So you take that indifference as a opportunistic call to bear your absolute ignorance and surreal stupidity. In an overt manner where it makes it evident you don't have the sense of a cheese driven lab rat.

See it's understood that since you can't refute my rationale or impartiality. Nor even dream of contesting my intellect or present anything to the contrary.

You hoist yourself on the profundity of your own profuse preposterousness and present yourself as a tasteless joke for me to laugh at,.. and in that regard thanks there El Idiota .

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20ElPolloRetrasado(212 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago

Ooga Booga, big words make me feel dumb,duh!!! Unfortunately Nunya, I am not one who gives a damn about your blithering nonsense, especially in this case. The simple fact of the matter is that if these idiots get back on the street they will continue to rape and pillage humankind. If you can't see that than I nor the dictionary can help you. Until the scumbags that inhabit and abuse your city are dealt with in a manner that is swift and sure then you and all the other city rats will be destined for an even larger decline than has already been. I will continue to think that you are as worthless as the Houser's until you shut up and actually start helping the city rather than spend your time pleasuring yourself to the dictionary/theaurus!

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21Nunya(1356 comments)posted 6 years, 2 months ago


Gottcha huh,.. LOL !!!

In all seriousness nobody with a desire for justice to be served upon those of the conduct of the Houser's like's hearing of a plea agreement.

However, fact is that prosecutor has more levity and access to surefire information than we of the general populous do.

Which with my belief that the prosecution takes this crime and ensuing acts of intimidation as seriously and non acceptably as I do.

I'm bearing faith in the prosecutor rendered acceptance of the plea agreement in a manner that such agreements are intended for.

Which is to weigh the pro's and con's in a manner of collaboration. Where a reduction in charge that governs sentencing time of imprisonment.

Is a consideration / gratuity that only the prosecution can offer or accept for having received some form of compliance and actionable cooperation.

That in manner of apprehension may or may not be announced / revealed in open court or be directly associated with the specific case.

But the assistance / compliance has to have bore value and credibility for prosecution to have entered into such for an agreement to be granted.

We're talking approx 36 to 41 months difference and with the severity of the charge they bore guilt of. Whatever the prosecution sought and received and or accepted had better damn well been worth it.

I don't know either the Houser's nor the assistant prosecutor that collaborated in this plea agreement.

So going on time line, magnitude of the crime, implications of guilt and almost having the entire family under charges.

I'm inclined to believe something considerable was exchanged to get that agreement.

Which if it wasn't Paul Gains and every underling posturing as assistants in the office of the prosecutor's bunch are through in this town.

There's not an eye nor ear in the area and a number of those abroad watching and listening for this case.

Which if my faith and belief in trusting their judgment is wrong. Politically and professionally there's going to be a groundswell of seats vacated. Invoked by the anger and outrage from the voting populous.

Had this been some donnybrook bar fight and mass probation was granted it'd be different.

However, with the social impact and magnitude of such heinous crime and ensuing conduct.

It'd be absolute voter alienation suicide for the prosecution to favor such an agreement without striking goal as a result of it.

For which I don't think and hope to god that prosecutor isn't dumb enough throw away leverage and botch this case.

Having said that I'm outraged by the murder of that lady. Yet I also want a fair trial for the murder suspect to determine guilt or innocence.

Which I'm not oblivious to the fact that his parents have just received one hell of an extension from the prosecutors office for something either,.. lets just keep watching and listening.

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