Preliminary examination delayed in Holt homicide

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Joe Dandron

Ficher walks into the 55th District Court in Mason prior to the start of the trial.

Glenberry Drive in Holt looks like many other quiet neighborhoods, with people coming and going, being friendly, but mostly keeping to themselves. That was the case for the Al-Yassari family before the night of Feb. 4, when Ammar Al-Yasari, 35-year-old father of two was found slain in his home. The Ingham County Sheriff’s Department reports he suffered multiple blows to the head with an edged weapon.

Joe Dandron

Defense lawyer Jonathan B. White and Bdour Al-Yasari speak following the decision to suspend the preliminary examination to March 21.

“The family mostly kept to themselves, I didn’t really know them,” said one neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous. “They’ve got one of those small sandboxes out behind the house, and you never saw their two daughters ever playing in it. I was walking my dog one day and the two girls came out to pet it, but the parents just kind of shuffled them back inside.”

Another neighbor, who also asked to remain anonymous, said they “didn’t know the family at all.”

On Thursday, Feb. 7, Ingham County sheriff’s deputies arrested Jacob Joseph Ficher, a 27-year-old Lansing man. He was arraigned that Saturday morning on charges of open murder. On Feb. 14, Al-Yasari’s wife, Bdour, was charged with conspiracy to commit homicide and open murder in connection with the case.

Joe Dandron

Ingham County 55th District Court Judge Thomas P. Boyd looks over court papers during the hearing on Thursday.

Ficher and Bdour Al-Yasari were brought to court the morning of Feb. 21 for what was going to be a preliminary examination. The examination has been suspended until March 21 at 8:30 a.m. in Ingham County 55th District Court in Mason. Their relationship is unclear.

“The only reason we are delaying is because of the volume of discovery,” said Jonathan B. White, Bdour Al-Yasari’s attorney. “It’s a complicated case, and there’s a lot of materials that deputies are still putting together.

“The other matter is that it’s really nothing unusual, it was just a matter of straightening out who had the defense. (March) 14th is a conference, prior to running the prelim exam on the 21st. The attorneys discuss witnesses they are calling, and they make sure both sides have everything they want.”

The preliminary examination was postponed also because of confusion about who would represent Bdour Al-Yasari. If the judge hears sufficient evidence on March 21 to proceed, the defendants would be bound over to Circuit Court for trial.

The Spartan Newsroom has submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department about the case.

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