Police: Double Slaying Suspect Confessed To Mother - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Police: Double Slaying Suspect Confessed To Mother

WARREN, Ohio (AP) - A client of an agency that helps the mentally handicapped told his mother that he killed a co-worker and their car pool driver, police said.

"Did you shoot those people," Barbara Greer asked her son, John Staples, 24, of Youngstown.

"Yes," Staples responded, according to an affidavit filed by Police Capt. James J. Cerenelli of nearby Liberty Township.

The affidavit was filed in support of two aggravated murder charges against Staples. Staples, who pleaded innocent Friday, has been held without bail since his arrest Thursday.

Staples was charged in the shooting deaths of Hope E. Houser, 34, of Campbell, who was employed by Burdman Group in Youngstown, and Wynn Bogan, 23, of Lowellville, a Burdman client.

Youngstown-based Burdman Group provides vocational rehabilitation on a contract with the Mahoning County Mental Health Board. Staples also was a client.

Houser and Bogan were shot in the back of their heads as they sat in the front seat of a Burdman van. Houser was driving the two men to work at an Interstate 80 rest stop.

Police allowed Greer to speak to her son, but only if officers were present.

Cerenelli and a fellow officer, the affidavit says, overheard part of the conversation between Staples and his mother in which he had admitted firing the shots.

Staples is scheduled to appear at a preliminary hearing March 11.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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