Man gets probation for death of Struthers roommate

By Joe Gorman


Gene Molnar said in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on Tuesday that he is not sure if his son had anything to do with his own death. One thing he is sure of, though, is wanting justice.

Molnar was speaking at the sentencing hearing for 27-year-old Matthew Alexander before Judge John Durkin. Alexander pleaded guilty Dec. 10 to a charge of reckless homicide in the shooting death of 34-year-old Matthew Molnar last April 3 at the Struthers home they shared in the 100 block of Renee Drive.

“I believe his [Matthew Molnar’s] blood cries out of the ground for justice,” Gene Molnar said.

Alexander was placed on three years’ probation for the death. He also must perform 200 hours of community service.

Gene Molnar said no one knows what led up to the shooting of his son except God. He said he did not have a close relationship with Matthew, but to end up burying his own child was a shock.

“I hope to God he [Matthew] wasn’t at fault,” Gene Molnar said.

Police say Alexander shot Matthew Molnar about 2:45 a.m. April 3 after a night of heavy drinking. Reports said the two had fought in the parking lot of a Coitsville strip club, were separated and then drove back to their home. The argument, however, had continued inside the car.

At the home, there was more arguing before Molnar was shot. A neighbor said she heard the two arguing in Molnar’s drive before a series of shots and then Alexander drove his car through her yard to leave.

Defense attorney David Engler had said that he would pursue a self-defense argument if the case went to trial. Judge Durkin said in the preceding hearings that toxicology reports and reports of Alexander’s injuries back up the defense version of events that evening and early morning up to when Matthew Molnar was shot.

But Judge Durkin also said that while it looks like Alexander has a good self-defense argument, there is no guarantee what a jury would decide.

Judge Durkin said that a presentence investigation labeled Alexander’s risk of re-offending as very low, although the judge noted he does have a poor driving record.

Alexander thanked the court and attorneys on both sides of the case for sifting through the evidence. He said he realizes they had a tough job because the case involves someone’s death.

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