YOUNGSTOWN — Jamar Houser has been housed in the Mahoning County jail for more than two years on murder charges that could have landed him on death row, but he may soon be a free man.
Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains today had a press conference detailing the ongoing case against Houser and announcing that murder charges against the accused man will be dismissed.
Houser, 20, had been charged with the Jan. 23, 2010, murder of Angeline Fimognari, 80, of Sheridan Road, in the parking lot of St. Dominic Church on the South Side. Fimognari was shot in the head. Her purse was missing, leading police to believe she was a victim of robbery turned deadly.
The case against Houser was turned on a palm print left on the door of Fimognari’s car at the time of her murder. Police checked that print against Houser and found there to be no match.
Gains, during the today's press conference, said two witnesses have come forward saying another man confessed to the murder. That man, 32-year-old Duane Colvin was murdered in September 2011. That murder is still unsolved.
Colvin’s body was exhumed so authorities could compare his palm print to the one left on the door of the car. Gains said police and prosecutors learned earlier this week that the print did in fact match Colvin’s print.
Prosecutors plan to meet with Judge Lou A D’Apolito of Mahoning County Common pleas Court this afternoon to discuss dismissing charges against Houser.
The case has taken many twists and turns over the last two years, including a denied change of venue request from Houser, squabbles between defense attorneys and prosecutors concerning that physical evidence left on the car and retaliation charges against Houser’s parents for threatening witnesses in the case.
John Houser Sr., 48, is currently serving a year in prison for obstruction of justice related to one of the alleged acts of retaliation.
For the complete story, read Friday's Vindicator and Vindy.com