A New York City woman has been arraigned today on an indictment charging her with murder and arson in the death of a Pomona man — her ex-boyfriend — whose body was discovered in the living room of his burning apartment in August.
“The defendant stands accused of a truly cold-blooded crime — savagely stabbing the victim, then deliberately setting fire to an occupied condominium without regard to the life and safety of the other tenants, or the volunteer firefighters charged with fighting the blaze,” said Rockland County District Attorney Thomas Zugibe. “This killing was callous and vicious. Her disregard for human life calls for nothing less than a lengthy prison sentence.”
Jodyann Hemmings, 23, of 156 W. 122 St., New York, a graduate of North Rockland High School, is charged with second-degree murder and second-degree arson and faces 25 years to life in state prison. Zugibe said Hemmings eluded law enforcement officials for about six days following the killing of Jason Ognenoff.
Ognenoff, 37, was found dead in his 8 Charles Lane apartment in Pomona by volunteers of the Hillcrest Fire Department, who were called to the building to battle a raging fire at Ognenoff’s apartment. The fire forced the evacuation of the apartment building and damaged several units.
Zugibe said Hemmings intentionally set fire to Ognenoff’s home after striking him and repeatedly stabbing him in the chest with a knife, killing him. He said the fire was ruled an arson by investigators.
Zugibe said Haverstraw police detectives developed information about the movements and motivations of Hemmings and she was taken into custody near her home in New York City on Aug. 24.
Hemmings is being held in the Rockland County Correctional Facility in New City pending an Oct. 12 hearing in Rockland County Court in New City.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Dominic Crispino and Richard K. Moran.