Charges filed in LaPorte homicide

2013-06-13T17:17:00Z 2013-06-14T10:45:09Z Charges filed in LaPorte homicideStan Maddux Times Correspondent
June 13, 2013 5:17 pm  • 

LAPORTE | Jennifer Jemiolo heard thumping and went downstairs to see her mother, Kathy, not moving after being pummeled with a baseball bat and stabbed multiple times by her father, according to court documents.

She later picked up her baby son who was with her mother during the attack.

Those are among the details released Thursday afternoon when a judged ruled there was sufficient evidence to charge Joseph Jemiolo, 60, with murder.

Jemiolo was released from prison in 1989 after serving 10 years for voluntary manslaughter for killing a previous wife, Nancy Jemiolo, in 1978.

The 20-year-old daughter of the Jemiolos told police she and her boyfriend were upstairs early Tuesday in the family's home in the 800 block of E Street, across from Kiwanis Field, when they heard a "loud thumping sound," according to court documents.

She saw a light in the basement and "heard stuff going on down there" then saw a man she thought was an intruder striking her 48-year-old mother in the back of the head with a baseball bat.

After seeing her mother on the floor not moving, Jennifer told police she heard someone coming up the stairs and hid in her parents' bedroom thinking the man was a burglar and called 911.

According to court documents, Jennifer told the 911 dispatcher, "I think someone broke into my house. Please come. Please come now."

After ending the call, she stated, "Dad, is that you?" then picked up her infant son, Evan, who was lying next to her mother's body and took him back upstairs, court records disclosed.

According to court documents, the investigation also revealed that Kathy Jemiolo had just moved back into the house on the day she was slain, then barricaded the doors with chairs fearing Joe would hurt her.

The couple was going through a divorce and Joseph Jemiolo had terminal cancer and was going through rehabilitation for a drug problem.

The homicide occurred the same night he returned home, police said.

According to court documents, responding officers arrested Jemiolo leaving the house through a back door covered in what appeared to be blood.

Jemiolo wound up at IU Health LaPorte Hospital after ripping open a surgically repaired hernia possibly during the attack, police said.

LaPorte Police Chief of Detectives Tom Thate said Kathy Jemiolo was also stabbed multiple times in the head, face and neck.

Jemiolo is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on the allegations, which carry a potential 45 to 65 year sentence.

Thate said police had responded to the home over the years for domestic disputes but had not gone there since September 2011.


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