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St. Dom suspect’s case goes to grand jury; parents held

Published: Tue, February 9, 2010 @ 12:09 a.m.

The combined bond on the family is $3.45 million.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.

  Jamar Houser Preliminary Hearing

YOUNGSTOWN — The case against a man accused of robbing and killing an 80-year-old woman on church grounds will be heard by a Mahoning County grand jury.

Meanwhile, Jamar Houser’s parents wait in the county jail, charged with trying to retaliate against a witness in their son’s case. All three are in jail.

Houser, the suspect in the Jan. 23 killing of Angeline Fimognari at St. Dominic Church, appeared Monday for a preliminary hearing before Judge Robert Milich of Youngstown Municipal Court.

He is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated murder of the longtime Sheridan Road resident and is in jail on a $3.1 million bond.

Youngstown police and court personnel twice searched all those who wanted to attend the hearing.

Several members of the Fimognari family were on one side of the courtroom. A woman who said she was Houser’s aunt also came into the courtroom, but she was later asked to wait outside of the courtroom during the proceedings.

A handcuffed and shackled Houser entered the courtroom at about 1:35 p.m. His attorney Michael Villani told the court Houser would be waiving his right to a preliminary hearing.

When asked by Judge Milich if he understood the proceedings and wanted to waive his right to the hearing, Houser simply answered “Yes” — the only words he would speak during the hearing. He was in and out of the court in less than two minutes.

Gary Milano, a nephew of Fimognari, attended the hearing with several relatives. He said the family was hoping to hear more about the case and see what evidence there is against Houser.

“We came thinking something would happen, and it didn’t,” he said. “We will just have to wait and see.”

The family, he said, will attend every hearing.

City Prosecutor Jay Macejko said prosecutors were ready to go forward with witnesses showing the strength of the case against Houser. Macejko said he expects to see the case presented to a county grand jury in the next 14 to 60 days.

Macejko said the prosecutor’s office has received additional information in the case and continues to receive new information on a daily basis, but he would not elaborate.

He did say police still have not found the gun used in the shooting or the purse taken from Fimognari.

Macejko also said waiving the preliminary hearing and going to a grand jury was in the best interest of all involved in the case because of security issues discovered late last week.

Those security issues arose when prosecutors learned that Houser’s parents reportedly threatened a witness in their son’s case.

Those reported threats have landed Houser’s parents in jail on more than $300,000 in cash bonds. They were arrested Friday afternoon.

John Houser, 46, and Frances Cianciola, 42, parents of Jamar Houser, appeared before Judge Elizabeth Kobly of Youngstown Municipal Court on felony retaliation charges about three hours before their son’s preliminary hearing.

John Houser told the court he had no income and was in fact just released from jail less than 24 hours before being arrested on the retaliation charge. Prosecutors told the court the elder Houser’s criminal history includes aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and domestic violence.

Judge Kobly appointed him a lawyer and set his bond at $250,000.

Cianciola told the court she receives only public assistance for her grandchild. Prosecutors told the court that she has no past criminal record.

Judge Kobly also appointed a lawyer for Cianciola and set her bond at $100,000.

Macejko would not give any details concerning the retaliation case against John Houser and Cianciola.



1Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

"John Houser told the court he had no income"

"Cianciola told the court she receives only public assistance for her grandchild. "

So it appears that the family had to rely on criminal activity to make ends meet .

Unless they have some solid evidence the whole family will be back on the streets fending for themselves .

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2sistersun(49 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

paulb>what does welfare and section 8 got to do with this boy killing that innocent women,and why should they send you a card of any sort ,Im sure it was not your personel account that money that goes to people who need help came directly from you.Don't get it twisted,people should have to pay for their wrong doing.Please educate yourself a little more before making another comment.Keeping it real I hear welfare don't help anybody only but for a short period of time.Don't judge everybody by one families s@@#.My heart goes out to the family of the victim.And again that boy should pay for what he has done.

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3Lifes2Short(3882 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

"Meanwhile, Jamar Houser’s parents wait in the county jail, charged with trying to retaliate against a witness in their son’s case. All three are in jail."

They should keep all 3 of these animals in jail. If they bond out, God knows what will happen. The father already proved that, just being released 24 hours and back in now. Just give them a number. Unreal.

"A woman who said she was Houser’s aunt also came into the courtroom, but she was later asked to wait outside of the courtroom during the proceedings."

Anyone know why she was asked to wait outside the courtroom?

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4redvert(2239 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes Stan, they will be back on the streets because none of this is their fault. Society has allowed them to fall by the wayside.

Mahoning County needs to set up a Sheriff Joe county jail. If anyone does not know what I am referring to just do a search for "Sheriff Joe "

Would it ever happen in liberal Mahoning county, of course not!!!

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5Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

During days gone by England shipped out their worst criminals to the colonies . The sparse regions of Afghanistan need populated . . . ..

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6stowjim(1 comment)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Look, I know it sucks to have to pay for alleged criminals like this on the public dole, but come on. How many of us would like to change places with these people? Didn't think so. Worry about your own selves and your own families. And don't stray from the topic at hand. This is a story about gangs and innocent murder victims and unsafe neighborhoods. What are the authorities going to do to keep this from happening again? That's what we need to know.

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7sue(179 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Do any of these people ever work?

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8DirtForce_1(40 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

stowjim...I would not change places with these people as I have decided to WORK for my income, NOT go to jail, and provide for myself and my family instead of sponging off tax paying, hard working citizens. These people didn't draw the short straw, they choose this way of living....period.

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9marie68(1 comment)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

I agree with paulb..unfortunately taxpayers will have to support this family in jail or the streets..they get better medical care than those of us who work & pay for insurance..they just exist taking and taking from our society be it free huosing, free food, free medical and when that's not enough they rob and kill citezens making sure they get what they want no matter what!! The dad has a record for aggravated burglary, aggravated assault and domestic violence gee the apple didn't fall far from the tree now did it? Keep the grandchild away from grandma she obviously is no role model.

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10Conservatism_Will_Prospers(91 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

We are still off track on this one, Here are a few products of their society and all we can do is make accusations and blame. The truth is that the Housers are making a living by any means necessary. The first issue is the fact that crime and drugs plague the city. The second issue is that society accepts these activities as a way of life. The third issue is that we the people continue to allow these events to unfold. I realize that Jamar was trying to make his living and that this was a cold blooded crime. But the fact still remains that until an entire community is willing to fight back against drugs and crime we will continue to have poverty stricken communities without morals. Jamar needs to be made a mainstream media example to the United States and we the people must step up to the plate to fight back against crime. Until we the people do our part to fight crime, us law abiding citizens will continue to look over our backs and wonder if another Jamar Houser is lurking. I refuse to be a victim and some of you should do the same.

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11Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

sue :

"Do any of these people ever work?"

I couldn't trace any work history for either one .

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12saquarius76(1 comment)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Paulb it seems to me that you are racist. You made a comment to jolt their culture back. It is not just african-americans committing crimes it is whites also. Did you run your mouth when the white 18 year old boy killed a house full of people including four children on the eastside? Crime has no color it is committed by all races. It was a stupid ignorant crime that should not have happen. That woman was minding her business and a ignorant person took her life. My prayers go out to the family of the victim. I pray that the Houser family is punished. Really people are looking at the wrong issues. Assistance has nothing to do with the crime it is the ignorant people. Assistance helps alot of elderly people who need it. What they need is to inforce people to get their lazy butts up and get a job if able. My taxes pay also but you don't hear me using racist comments or bashing assistance. The whole thing stems around a innocent lady getting killed. All that other that is being talked about is irrelevant. Truth be told there are working people committing crimes also but they are under cover until exposed. Doctors, judges, lawyers need I go on. Before you use racist comments and before you bash assistance think about what you say and that elder who use assistance. You all need to hope and pray that you live to see assistance because you just might need it one day.

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13justice48(8 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago


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14Conservatism_Will_Prospers(91 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Once again the issue lies in the culture of crime. We law abiding citizens need to help tone down that culture by either helping those who are less fortunate or by fighting back against crime in its entirety. I see all of the turmoil that the Housers have caused both in our communities and in chat forums. It is sad that the citizens of Youngstown continue to pander to the crime ridden culture through a pity story of poverty. Welfare programs should be temporary and not permanent unless there is a physical or severe mental defect keeping one from employment. People become dependent on government assistance and loose all motivation to be a productive member of society. The cycle has to be stopped. Also we have to assist in stopping the cycle both constructively and defiantly.

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15julescakes(9 comments)posted 6 years, 4 months ago

Why?? Are these people breathing our air?? Why?

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