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Houser freed from jail in Nov. after judge slashed bail



Published: Tue, February 2, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.

  Youngstown Murder

Al Milano, nephew of murder victim Anna Figonari, comments on the arraignment of Jamar Houser, 18, who was charged in the killing.

Al Milano, nephew of murder victim Anna Figonari, comments on the arraignment of Jamar Houser, 18, who was charged in the killing.

  Arraignment for Jamar "Mook" Houser

Arraignment for Jamar "Mook" Houser

Arraignment for Jamar "Mook" Houser

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FAMILY REACTS: Al Milano of Youngstown talks to reporters about the arrest of an 18-year-old man in connection with the shooting death of his aunt, 80-year-old Angeline Fimognari. Fimognari was gunned down Jan. 23 after leaving a Saturday morning church service at St. Dominic Church in Youngstown.

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SUSPECT ARRAIGNED: Jamar Houser, 18, of Volney Road was arraigned by video before Judge Robert Milich of Youngstown Municipal Court on Monday in the shooting death of 80-year-old Angeline Fimognari. Judge Milich set Houser’s bond at $3 million.

YOUNGSTOWN — The 18-year-old accused of murdering an 80-year-old woman in a church parking lot had been in the Mahoning County jail on $500,000 bond 90 days before the killing.

Jamar Houser of Volney Road had been indicted in October on felony charges of firing a gun into a home, aggravated menacing and assault. He asked Judge Lou D’Apolito, Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, to reduce the $500,000 bond Nov. 10. The bond was reduced to $20,000.

Judge D’Apolito said the Houser case is an ongoing matter, and he would not be able to comment on any aspect of the case, including the reduced bond.

Authorities believe Houser gunned down Angeline Fimognari after she left morning services at St. Dominic Church, 77 E. Lucius Ave., on Jan. 23. Houser is believed to have taken the woman’s purse before running from the church parking lot.

Houser appeared Monday before Judge Robert Milich in Youngstown Municipal Court for arraignment on charges of aggravated murder and aggravated robbery.

Appearing via video wearing a county-issued orange jumpsuit, he entered no plea to the charges but told the court he had no income and is supported by his parents and would therefore need a court-appointed attorney. He will be provided an attorney.

Houser also asked the judge to set “a reasonable bond.”

After prosecutors read the 18-year-old’s arrest record, the judge said he saw $3 million as a reasonable bond for the accused killer. Prosecutors told the court Houser’s record includes arrests for receiving stolen property and aggravated robbery as a juvenile, and the charges pending before Judge D’Apolito.

Al Milano, a nephew of Fimognari, attended the arraignment and is still bewildered as to how someone could gun down an unarmed elderly woman in the parking lot of church. He described Fimognari as a gentle woman who did little more than attend church and look after children in her family.

“I just can’t believe a person could do something like that...” Milano told a group gathered outside the courtroom. “I am just bewildered by it. We are still shocked.”

A woman claiming to be a relative to Houser tried to attend the proceedings but was prevented from entering the courtroom because someone in the courtroom at the time of the arraignment had a restraining order against her. The woman declared that she wanted to see Houser be arraigned but was ultimately escorted from the building by security.

Police had launched a massive manhunt for the person responsible for Fimognari’s killing since Jan. 23 when she was discovered shot in the parking lot. CrimeStoppers and the City of Youngstown joined forces to offer a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Police are not saying exactly what information lead to the arrest of Houser.

Jaa’Bone Kennedy, 58, of Indianola Avenue, said he has had a first-hand run-in with Houser and his associates leading to the earlier assault charge against Houser. A trial is scheduled Feb. 18 in Youngstown Municipal Court in the assault case.

According to Kennedy, who lives near Houser, he was walking near Houser’s home in August 2009 when words were exchanged, and Houser threatened to do him bodily harm.

“[Houser] ran on the side of the house as I was walking, and I thought he was going to get a weapon. But he ran up on me and started swinging, so I defended myself,” the man said.

Kennedy said he pinned Houser to the ground but was then attacked and hit by other people with Houser. He said the fight spilled over into his home before police arrived.

jgoodwin@vindy.com


Comments

1margarita(19 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

What an animal! He deserves to be in a kennel with all the rest of the animals! If you can't live like a human being then you should be housed with the animals!
Where is the condemnation from the community? Funny there is such silence!
She was coming out of a church and was robbed and killed! Can you get any lower as a human being? Put a collar on him and let him eat like a dog!

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2starofesther(168 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

this kid had a violent background growing up what he did was wrong...
It is very sad for both ....
A elderly going to church and now a young person has no life before him

Respect values and morals are lacking in society and percepts and oracles in the Bible that are not being observed 10 commandments

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3wastepro(46 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Vote Judge Lou D'Apolito out of Office, its these kind of mistakes this area can ill afford.

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4diamondm35(42 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

What happened to this elderly lady is heart beaking, she was merely at church praying. I have an 83 year old grand mother and now we worry to death every time she wants to go any where because of this inhumane person and we are quite sure there are more out here like him. I hope he's put to death. She didn't deserve to die, but he does. R.I.P. Angeline

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5UnionForever(1470 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Angeline's death should be on you Judge Lou D'Apolito. You let this animal out of jail by reducing his bond. Why couldn't you recognize that MOOT is a sick member of the black gangsta hoodlum society that has destroyed Youngstown proper? He should never have been let free to go out and kill. I repeat, Angeline's death should be on you Judge Lou D'Apolito.

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6fitnessbuff(57 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Houser comes from a a rough family. The dad was no stranger to the system.

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7jungljim69(16 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Thanks Judge Lou D'Apolito. GREAT decision on your part. Had you not reduced the bail of this animal, Angeline would most likely still be alive.

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8HaydenThomas(208 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

The system is designed and run for the benefit of the lawyers and bondsmen. The police pay the price having to arrest these repeat offenders time after time and the citizens pay the price as victims. You've got to love Gains response that his office should have been told that Houser was a bad dude. I guess looking at a half million bond wasn't quite good enough for them! Gains, (I got shot by the mob) is a terrible prosecutor. Until the electorate wakes up and starts voting these clowns out of office, nothing will change.

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9fcb(320 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

a real tough guy!! lives with his mommy and daddy,and needs the people of Yo to pay for his attorney.Now the people of the state will have to pay his bill for the rest of his life.We'll see how tough he is when he get's into the big house. If he gets there. With Youngstown's system he might be out partying on friday night. The judge could buy him his first drink.

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10testify(3 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

This is why we should support capital punishment, individuals such as Houser need to be put to death for their actions, these type never reform, all they do is continue to be a menace and threat to society already in turmoil, to execute an elderly woman for no other reason than to steal her purse should lead to to the death penalty, forget feeling sorry for these criminals, there is NO EXCUSE

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11dd933(228 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

This young person is most definitely disturbed mentally. The whole situation is sick. It's not typical even of the sickest hoodlums in Youngstown.

OnionForever's comment about the destruction of Youngstown proper is erroneous. The city was destroyed by the middle class leaving back in the 60s & 70s - way before the "gangstas" appeared. They just filled the void that was left.

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12VINDYAK(1799 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Houser's own mother was banned from the court hearing because she had a restraining order against her. His father also had a lengthy police record. What a wonderful family and such an asset to our community.

I wonder how many more "families" are out there just like this one?

I think its time for all of us to really put the pressure on our judges to quit caving in and uphold the laws as written with maximum bails and maximum penalties for violent crimes and crimes with the use of weapons.

Houser was in and out of the court system and had previously used a weapon in at least one other case. There should be no reduction in bail or reduction in punishment when a weapon is used.

If you are a judge in Ohio, let this be a warning...the citizens of Ohio are now putting you on notice...DO YOUR JOB AND ENFORCE THE LAW ! That is what we are paying you for! We are not paying you to be a community conselor. DO YOUR JOB !

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13walter_sobchak(1893 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

I understand that bail is set supposedly to ensure that the defendant shows for a future trial date, but obviously the nature of the crime has to be taken into account when i is determined. This animal is no more of a flight risk today as he was a month ago, but the bail set was much higher. Maybe a good solution would be that, when a judge set a low amount, the suspect should have to reside in the house next to the judge. Let the judge have to live with a predator in close proximity. SOunds stupid but this is what these judges do to the people in those neighborhoods where this slime ball lives. Of course, perhaps if this thug were put back on the streets, proper justice would be meted out to him and we could avoid a show trial.

It's no different with Pres. Barry O. He wants to give KSM a show trial in New York that will cost the taxpayers Huge sums of money while engangering the citizens of NY. It's lunacy! Why don't they try him next to the White House or Congress. But hey, don't worry! The President and the AG have assured us that he will be found guilty and will soon meet his maker. Innocent until proven guilty? This really makes us look good to the rest of the world. No doubt, liberalism is a mental disorder!

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14CompMan(125 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

This was the prosecuters of Youngstown and Mahoning County fault; not the judge. Neither the city or county saw fit to flag the case. Watch for politcal barbs being thrown each way in this case.

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15city_dweller(193 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

It's true that Jamar Houser deserves everything he gets if he's convicted of killing Angeline. It's also very sad that so many young men like him learn at such a young age to completely devalue life and feel like they have nothing to lose by taking one.

But after reading post after post in this article and others, by people calling for blood, I've come to find it equally disturbing that so many would eagerly return to a system of public executions, vengeance, and immediate presumption of guilt.

Of course I'm not suggesting Houser shouldn't face the worst our justice system offers, but I really don't think we can make that system any more severe and still maintain our own humanity. We cannot become the killers we seek to eliminate, even in the name of "justice." Hanging Houser on Federal Plaza after dragging him through the streets -- as I have no doubt many would join in doing -- accomplishes nothing except satisfying our own thirst for revenge.

It's hard not to let the anger and frustration of this tragedy get the better of us, but that's what separates people like Houser from the rest of society. He gets angry and reacts violently -- and lethally. The rest of us maintain our humanity by being better than that, even to those who don't deserve it.

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16wineywoman(78 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

To the people who believe that Housers' childhood and rough up-bringing is to blame, FORGET IT!!!! I don't care what kind of misery he's experienced, it doesn't give him the right to take another persons' life. This woman was serving God, and minding her own business when killed for her property. I hope they fry him!!!

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17walter_sobchak(1893 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

CompMan: Not the judge's fault? You must be kidding me! I'm assuming that maybe, just maybe, that to get his J.D., the judge had to be able to read the english language and comprehend it. Hmm...I guess a figure such as $500,000 doesn't stand out in the "judge's mind". Maybe we need to put the little colored Post-it arrows next to the important words and figures for the judge. Sorry, the judicial system in this county has been run by the good ol' boy network for too many years. The defense attorney's have it wrapped around their little fingers. Anyone with a modicum of sense realizes that fact. D'Apolito is just the next political stooge in the line of the Democratic party of Mahoning County. And it won't get any better with the ambulance chaser running it now.

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18Stan(9923 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Francis supports her son 100% and now will be full of hatred toward the system that turned her away from the arraignment. If she wins the lottery you can be assured that Jamar will be bailed out .

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19redvert(2058 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

dd933, you are a prime example of the mentality that contributes to the degradation of ytown. According to your comment that the dirtbags were only "filling a void" after the middle class left

Your claim that "the city was destroyed by the middle class leaving back in the 60s & 70s - way before the "gangstas" appeared. They just filled the void that was left." Well I guess we should commend the dirtbags for taking up the slack! Amazing but expected by people that think like you.

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20mrblue(975 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Remember the judge and also Mr. Gaines the next time you go to the polls. Also, I am sure that this kids entire family are no strangers to the police. Youngstown has got to wake up in order to move forward. The criminals need to be punished,and not slapped on the wrist. A product of their environment is bull. They know right from wrong..

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21Nunya22(315 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

@VINDYAK How do you know his mother was banned? In this article I read a woman that claim to be a relative that could be anyone.

But Jamar should of had a harsher punishment with the old charges that is crazy and ridiculous.

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22Columbus(1 comment)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

My heart goes out to Angeline and her family. This is a tragedy and hopefully justice will be served.

This whole thing totally sickens me. I grew up near St. Dom's and attended the school and church. It used to be such a nice area. I drove through there when I was home at Christmas and was shocked by what the area has turned into. It is very scarey to be around there. Why can't people take care of those beautiful old houses? They just let them fall apart and burn them down. It's disgusting.

We need to step back and think why this happened. What can be done to prevent this from happening in the future? The legal system of Youngstown has always been more corrupt than not. It's no secret that people get "paid off". Maybe this is a wake up call. Voters can make a difference at election time. People can also start the ball rolling on investigating these judges, prosecutors', etc. What happened to poor Angeline should never have happened. But Y-town has the power to ensure this does not happen again.

Don't let Angeline's death be for naught. Keep up the fight to make sure Jamar is sentenced to the fullest. Start watch groups to keep tabs on the judges/proceutors. I no longer live in the area but you can be darn sure I would be monitoring this case with a fine tooth comb!

Another thing to look into is getting some business to move into the area and get all these people off of the welfare system. The problem here is that Y-town has such a terrible reputation that most businesses are not attracted enough to move to the area. The mayor needs to do something about this. Start some kind of plan to keep kids in school and train their parents for a trade. Teach them to do something productive and keep them off the streets and selling drugs. I don't want to hear about Jamar not having a good upbringing. We are all born with a free will and the ability to chose right or wrong. Even if you have a bad upbringing does not mean you will chose to do wrong. I've known many people that came from bad parts of town, had parents that did drugs, etc. and these people had a will to surpass this way of life. They completed high school, some went to college, got jobs and they are respectable citizens. Jamar did not do this. He chose to do wrong and not respect life.

Jamar killed a poor innocent elderly woman at church. He obviously has no respect for anyone or anything. He needs to be kept off the streets and if that means me paying for him to be in there for the rest of his life, so be it. Out of respect for Angeline and her family, I will gladly pay to keep Jamar in prison so that he is not afforded the opportunity to do this again.

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23hvacguy(33 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

Amazing, but what do I know? Please correct me if I am wrong. The 9/30/09 incident involved firing a weapon into a house. What was this judge thinking? Reducing bail by 480 thousand dollars. No excuse for the judge, a very bad call. I think he should unseated and disbarred.

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24StudGerbil(10 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

This spectacle starts with Judge Theresa Dellick, first and foremost. She is in charge of youthful offenders and I am certain that she had Houser in her system at one time.

She is so lenient it is sickening. I personally saw her recommend counselling for an 18-yr-old well-known drug dealer with many convictions because, in her words, she didn't want to "send him to prison with 40 and 50 year old criminals".

Judge D’Apolito is stuck with these offenders once they leave Judge Dellick's tender care. It starts with her at Juvey and it gets worse.

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25lowercanfield(5 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

My heart goes out to the family of the victim. Mook shouldn't have even been out on the streets, and as everyone stated we have the courts to thank for that. My quetion is that is the nephew the best spokesperson for the family? Wasn't he charged with selling drugs years ago? I'm not sure but I think I remember he was selling steriods or something. Many of you post powerful messages about what is wrong with Youngstown, but I have one question... What have you done to improve it? If you don't like the elected officials than run against them and help fix the problem instead of always getting on here and pointing the finger at the problems. Now feel free to blast me, I'll get a kick out of it. I enjoy reading your posts going back and forth with each other, I guess thats what you do when you aren't gainfully employed....

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26Silence_Dogood(1333 comments)posted 4 years, 6 months ago

"Judge D’Apolito said the Houser case is an ongoing matter, and he would not be able to comment on any aspect of the case, including the reduced bond."
.

WE ALL NEED TO REMEMBER THIS WHEN THIS PIECE OF SH!T JUDGE RUNS FOR OFFICE AGAIN.IF IT WERE NOT FOR THE REDUCED BOND THIS WOMAN WOULD BE ALIVE, THIS MOLLYCODDLING OF THUGS IS WHY WE HAVE SUCH A HIGH CRIME RATE.

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