Today was an emotional day for Tonia's family. I am sorry that I wasn't there for this. I promise had I known, I would have been. If you have information about something like this happening, please do not assume that I know about it. Please, please call me and make sure that I know.
Columbiana County Man Pleads Guilty To Killing Wife
January 14, 2010WTOV9.com
A Columbiana County man pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts in connection with killing his wife.J.C. Amato pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of voluntary manslaughter with a firearms specification. Investigators said he killed his wife, Tonia Amato, on July 1, 2007, inside their Wellsville home. He was originally charged with murder in February 2008.Amato also pleaded guilty to one count of a possession of a dangerous ordinance. Officials said that charge had to do with Amato having bomb-making materials and firearms at his parents’ house.As part of the plea agreement, the defense and prosecution are recommending Amato serve a total of eight years in prison. One stipulation of the plea deal was that Amato begin serving time immediately.Court documents previously disclosed that J.C. Amato told police he did shoot his wife at their home, but he said it was in self-defense.A Wellsville police officer said J.C. Amato told him “his wife tried to shoot him with a .22-caliber handgun that belonged to him.” J.C. Amato then stated he returned fire and shot her between the eyes with a separate handgun.Amato was initially scheduled to head to trial on Aug. 18, 2009, but his defense attorneys filed several motions and Special Prosecutor Lynn Grimshaw requested a continuance.A judge ordered a pre-sentencing investigation and a deposition is scheduled for March 5.While Amato was for the most part emotionless as he faced the just, the victim’s family was in tears but said they were relieved the case is nearly over.”It’s time for it to be over. It’s been a very long 30 months. It’s been delay after delay and one issue after another,” said Cathy Brundage, Tonia Amato’s mother.The prosecutor in Columbiana County recused himself from the case because of his relationship to J.C. Amato’s father.