MAHONING COURT Murdered man's estate files suit against killer
John Staples already is serving two life sentences.
By BOB JACKSON
VINDICATOR COURTHOUSE REPORTER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The estate of a Lowellville man who was killed in a double-murder two years ago in Trumbull County is suing the man convicted of pulling the trigger.
Betty J. Bogan of Lowellville filed the lawsuit Friday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court against John Staples, 26, of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Warren. She also is suing the Burdman Group and the Mahoning County Mental Health Board.
Bogan is the mother of Wynn Douglas Bogan, 23, who was shot to death by Staples on Feb. 28, 2002, in Liberty Township. Staples was convicted of aggravated murder in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court and is serving two life sentences -- one for killing Bogan and one for killing 34-year-old Hope E. Houser of Campbell.
Staples was a client of the Burdman Group, where Houser was a vocational rehabilitation worker and Bogan also was a client. Bogan and Houser were shot in the back of the head as they sat in the front seat of a Burdman van at Gypsy Lane and Belmont Avenue on the Youngstown-Liberty Township line.
Houser, who was driving, had stopped to get gas on their way to clean a roadside rest stop on state Route 11, south of Canfield. She had picked up both men at the agency's administration building about two miles from where the shootings occurred.
The vocational rehabilitation program for which Houser worked trains disabled people to achieve employment. The agency has a contract through the mental health board.
The suit says that the Burdman Group and mental health board failed to take adequate measures to protect Bogan. It asks for damages in excess of $25,000.