Pair face trial on murder, conspiracy charges

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Joe Dandron

Jacob Ficher enters the courtroom of the 55th District Court in Mason.

DELHI TWP.—After nearly six hours of testimony, 55th District Court Judge Thomas P. Boyd ruled today there is enough evidence against Jacob Ficher, 27, of Lansing and Bdour Al-Yasari, 28, of Holt, to move to a murder trial in the Feb. 4 death of Ammar Al-Yasari.

Ficher is charged with first-degree murder and now conspiracy to commit homicide, a charge prosecutors added on Thursday. The victim’s wife, Bdour Al-Yasari is charged with conspiracy to commit homicide and waived her right to a preliminary examination.

Sarah Joy Yoder, a bartender at Rocky’s Roadhouse on Cedar Street in Holt where Ingham County sheriff’s deputies apprehended Ficher on the night of Feb. 6 said he “told me he was the devil. … He seemed distraught. He told me his wife and daughter had been in an accident. Then he went to the bathroom and when he came back he looked like he had been crying. So I cut him off from drinking any more alcohol. I even paid for his food.”

Prosecutors brought six people to the stand to put together a timeline and cause of death. Dr. Patrick Hansma, medical examiner for Ingham County, testified that Al-Yasari died from more than 20 “chop wounds,” a mix between sharp and blunt-force trauma.

Detectives from the Ingham County Sheriff’s Department were first alerted to Ficher as a suspect by Bdour Al-Yasari’s cellphone. Snapchat and TextNow messages showed that Ficher and Al-Yasari had a romantic relationship, and that Al-Yasari planned to leave her husband.

Eric Bach

Det. Derick Ward, right, and Ingham County prosecutor Mike Cheltenham take a look at a photo of the murder weapon.

In texts, Al-Yasari and Ficher discussed using violence against Ammar Al-Yasari, but never specifically wrote anything about killing him.

“I (expletive) hate him,” read one text from Bdour Al-Yasari to Ficher.
“I might kick him in the balls or shoot him,” read a text from Ficher to Bdour Al-Yasari.

Bdour Al-Yasari called police in a panic on Feb. 4, saying her husband needed help. Deputy Jonte Slack was first to arrive and found Bdour Al-Yasari screaming and crying in the driveway of their Glenberry Drive home.

“She was crying when I got there,” Slack testified. “She said there was someone else in the house, but my partner and I swept the house and didn’t find anyone other than the victim.”

Deputies apprehended Ficher at Rocky’s Roadhouse after following his roommate, Levi Thomason, to the bar.

Thomason has been Ficher’s roommate ever since the pair moved to Lansing together from Oregon in April of 2018. He said he was aware of Ficher’s relationship with Al-Yasari, but only recently learned that Al-Yasari was married.

“They had been dating since around the summer of 2018, but I didn’t know that she was married until around the holidays,” Thomason said. “On Tuesday night, he came home and asked me to check the news. I saw that someone had been killed in Holt, but I didn’t ask questions.”

When asked by prosecutors if he thought something was off with Ficher, Thomason said Ficher was acting “weird,” but that he didn’t put it together until he went to meet Ficher at Rocky’s Roadhouse.

Deputies recovered a Jan. 31 receipt from Kroger in Ficher’s apartment showing he had purchased bleach, a camping axe, liquor and Coca-Cola. Lead detective William Lo said there was a strong odor of bleach around Ammar Al-Yasari’s body when he was found, and the jacket he was wearing was discolored, most likely from the bleach. Crime scene photos showed an empty container of bleach near the body, but, according to Lo, the brand of the bleach bottle found at the scene was not the same brand that Ficher purchased from Kroger.

Security footage at the store showed that Bdour Al-Yasari accompanied Ficher to Kroger on Jan. 31, five days before Ammar Al-Yasari was killed. With this, prosecutors added a conspiracy to commit murder charge against Ficher.

Ficher and Al-Yassari will be arraigned in Circuit Court in Lansing on April 3 and will await face after that.

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