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Father of St. Dom's murder suspect charged in threat again

Published: Wed, February 8, 2012 @ 12:09 a.m.

Witness against son targetED, police say


Houser Sr.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



The father of the suspect in the murder of an elderly woman outside St. Dominic Church in early 2010 has been arrested again on charges of threatening a witness in the case against his son.

According to police, John Houser Sr., 47, was at a gas station on Glenwood Avenue about 6 p.m. Monday when he saw the 22-year-old witness leaving the station.

Houser reportedly said to the man, “You know who I am? You know what it is. I’ll pull a cap back when I see you.”

The witness got into his car and left the gas-station parking lot, but Houser reportedly followed and tried to run the man off the road.

The witness told police this is not the first time he has been threatened by Houser, and it is not the first time Houser has been arrested on a charge of threatening a witness in the case against his son, Jamar Houser, 20, in the killing of Angeline Fimognari, 80.

John Houser Sr. and his wife were charged with felony retaliation in February 2010 after police say they made oral threats in Youngstown to kill a witness in their son’s case. They were arrested by the Mahoning Valley Violent Crimes Task Force after police had their house under surveillance.

The couple ultimately pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of obstructing justice and were sentenced to five years’ probation.

John Houser Sr., however, violated that term of probation by driving a vehicle while under license suspension and was then sentenced to 10 months in prison.

Houser Sr. is no stranger to the criminal justice system. He was charged with robbery in 1997; however, he pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and served seven months in prison.

He’s also had charges for receiving stolen property, obstructing official business and domestic violence.

Houser Sr. is in Mahoning County jail awaiting arraignment on the most-recent charges. He is slated to be arraigned today.

Jamar Houser, of Volney Road, is charged with aggravated murder and aggravated robbery with death-penalty specifications in the fatal shooting of Fimognari, 80, of Sheridan Road on the city’s South Side. The younger Houser, who also was charged with being a felon with a gun, remains jailed under a $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, 2010.

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