Here is some additional information on a recent chruch shooting that happened in Youngstown, Ohio.
YOUNGSTOWN – Bond for murder suspect Jamar “Mook” Houser was set at $3 million Monday morning following a video arraignment in Youngstown Municipal Court.
Meanwhile, the man charged with murdering the 80-year-old church parishioner has two other trials pending in county and municipal courts. The city prosecutor’s office states that Houser, 18, of Volney Road, also had a “substantial” juvenile record.
Someone speaking for Houser via the video link asked that Judge Robert Milich set “a reasonable bond.” Houser told the judge he was unable to afford an attorney and requested a public defender.
“No,” Houser told the judge when he asked if he could hire his own counsel. “My parents take care of me.”
Houser, who was out on bond in an earlier case when Figmonari was killed, appeared to look at the floor when Milich added an additional $1 million to what the city prosecutor’s office recommended.
Houser is charged with aggravated murder, which is a potential death sentence according to the warrant, and aggravated robbery in the shooting death of Angeline Fimognari, 80.
Police believe Fimognari was murdered as the result of a robbery Jan. 23 after Mass at St. Dominic Church on the city’s South Side. The parishioner was found slumped over her vehicle’s steering wheel about 8:30 a.m. with a gunshot wound to the head. Her purse was missing.
After a search of the neighborhood surrounding the church and a tip campaign that included a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer, the Mahoning County Violent Crimes Task Force arrested Houser Friday evening.
Houser, who appeared calm during the proceedings, entered no plea. His next hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Monday with a public defender.
The city prosecutor’s office requested a bond of $2 million – $1 million for each charge – citing that Houser was free on bond on a charge of firing a gun inside a home when the murder took place. However, Milich set bond at $2 million for the murder charge and $1 million for the aggravated robbery charge.
Al Milano, Fimognari’s nephew, said he was satisfied with the bond amount.
“I would have liked to hear that there was no bond, but $3 million, that’s nice. I hope they move fast and get this done so we can put this behind us,” he said.
Milano called the crime unthinkable. He asked how someone could be on the street with a gun after being bonded out on other charges.
“He shouldn’t have been out. I don’t know why he was out,” he said.
On Oct. 31, Houser was indicted on aggravated menacing and discharging a firearm at or into a habitation. He had been in jail on a $500,000 bond since his September arraignment in Municipal Court. His attorney filed a motion asking that the bail be reduced, and Judge Lou D’Apolito granted the motion on Nov. 10, reducing it to $20,000, which Houser posted soon after.
Fellow Municipal Court Judge Elizabeth Kobly commented generally about setting bond.
“It used to be that judges could only consider whether the defendant was a flight risk,” she said.
Judges now have more responsibility to understand the circumstances of the offense and other factors. She called the bond set by Milich on Monday “reasonable.”
According to Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains, the earlier charge stems from a feud between Houser and two other individuals. Gains said that on Sept. 9, Houser shot a residence in Youngstown as part of the feud.
One aggravated menacing charge was filed against Houser from an incident that occurred the day before.
A woman told police that she was going to the house on Volney to speak to her son and another woman about custody of their infant son. The woman claimed that when she went to the address, a man she identified as Houser went outside, pointed a gun into the air and told her, “Go ahead, get out of your car so I can shoot y’all.”
Houser also had a warrant for aggravated menacing charges in an incident that occurred Sept. 9. The same woman claimed Houser told her daughter that her mother should buy a black box because he “is going to put her and her children in it.”
The woman said she saw Houser driving past her house several times, pointing his finger like a gun and laughing.
According to the Municipal Court Clerk’s Office, the aggravated menacing charges were dismissed Nov. 5. Gains said the two misdemeanor charges that were dismissed in municipal court were a part of the feud that resulted in the felony charge. Houser is due for a pre-trial hearing on the felony Feb. 24.
On Aug. 9, warrants of misdemeanor assault and criminal damaging were filed against Houser, claiming that he hit someone in the face and damaged the door to a house on West Indianola Avenue. That case goes to a final pre-trial before Kobly on Feb. 18, according to the clerk’s office.
Senior Assistant Law Director Bassil Ally told Milich that Houser had a substantial juvenile record. As a juvenile, Houser faced charges of receiving stolen property and aggravated robbery, Ally said. The Tribune Chronicle was unable to confirm this with the Juvenile Justice Center because juvenile offense records are not public.
Attempts to reach Houser’s parents for a comment were not successful.
YOUNGSTOWN – An 80-year-old woman was found shot to death in the parking lot of a South Side church Saturday morning.
Police were called to St. Dominic’s Church on East Lucius Avenue about 9:30 a.m. and found the woman shot to death in her car. A police spokesman said she had been shot in the head.
The woman was identified as Angeline Fimognari of Sheridan Road.
Fimognari was found after 8 a.m. Mass had ended and that she attended Mass daily. Investigators are looking at robbery as a possible motive, a police spokesman said.
Police were called to the church after a man coming to meet with a priest found Fimognari’s car door open and she appeared unresponsive. The priest also came out and could not get a response from Fimognari, the spokesman said.
They did not know she had been shot before the priest called police, he said.
Church officials could not be reached for comment Saturday evening.
”It’s pretty bad when you can’t go to church and you get shot at, you know what I mean?” parishioner John Schneider told Tribune Chronicle news partner 33 News.
Parish member Bob Chizmar said the neighborhood around the church is dangerous and he moved out several years ago, although he still attends St. Dominic’s.
”It’s really a bad, bad neighborhood,” Chizmar said. ”It’s terrible. It’s a disgrace because the church is so beautiful. But it’s in an isolated area.”
Chizmar said he did not know about the murder until he went to Mass at 5 p.m. Saturday, when the priest cautioned them that the crime would be at the forefront of the local news for the next several days.
Although he didn’t know the victim, Chizmar said the church is a close-knit community.
”The people are wonderful,” Chizmar said.
The church has security cameras, and police have taken the video to study for clues, according to 33 News. Police would not comment on whether there were suspects.
Fimognari’s death is the fifth homicide in the city this year. Included in that total is a man who was shot and killed by police earlier this month in a shootout at an East Side apartment complex.
The last homicide in the city was Jan. 12, when a man was gunned down on Broadway Avenue on the North Side. Police have a suspect in that case and have issued warrants