ALBANY – A local man who was charged in 2017 for setting over a dozen fires in the Jamestown area will not be prosecuted for the alleged crimes.
The Post-Journal is reporting today that New York’s highest court has denied an application seeking an appeal in the case involving Jonathon Young, who was accused of setting fires in both occupied and vacant residences in both Falconer and Jamestown in March 2017.
The appeal was sought by the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office after the 4th appellate division handed down a ruling earlier this year that upheld a 2019 ruling by County Court Judge David Foley, stating the case should be thrown out on the grounds that evidence used in Young’s 25-count indictment wasn’t admissible. The evidence involved statements Young had made to Pennsylvania authorities while being investigated for an arson in Butler County, Pa. Those statements where then used by the Jamestown Police Department when building its case to help indict Young on the local arson charges.
District Attorney Patrick Swanson had applied for a request to have the State Court of Appeals hear the case, but was denied in a one-page order dated Aug. 7.
Young has been accused of setting numerous fires in Jamestown and Falconer between March 2 and March 25 in 2017:
- March 2 (12:45 a.m.) – 621 E. 6th St., Jamestown (Occupied Apartment)
- March 2 (11:27 p.m.) – 621 E. 6th St., Jamestown (Vacant Apartment)
- March 6 (8:18 p.m.) – 2840 Woodlawn Ave. Ext., Falconer (Abandoned Home)
- March 12 (12:58 p.m.) – 2840 Woodlawn Ave. Ext, Falconer (Abandoned Garage)
- March 22 (6:30 a.m.) – 441 Winsor St., Jamestown (Condemned House)
- March 22 (7:19 a.m.) – 29 to 39 W. Main St., Falconer ( Occupied Building)
- March 23 (6:14 p.m.) – 621 E. 6th St., Jamestown (Condemned Home)
- March 24 (11:05 p.m.) – 650 E. 6th St., Jamestown (Condemned Home)
- March 25 (12:21 a.m.) – 220 Crossman St., Jamestown (Condemned Home)
- March 25 (1:04 a.m.) – 30 W. 11th St., Jamestown (Debris Pile near Home)
- March 25 (1:16 a.m.) – 22 W. 11th St., Jamestown (Condemned Home)
- March 25 (2:10 a.m.) – 33 W. 10th St., Jamestown (Condemned Home)
Young was arrested in Butler, Pa. shortly after the last local fire was set on March 25, 2017 and was indicted on two counts of second-degree arson, 11 counts of third-degree arson, one count of fifth-degree arson and 11 counts of second-degree criminal mischief.
The most serious charge, second-degree arson, carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
The district attorney told the Post-Journal that with the latest denial, there remains no options for prosecution on the arsons due to Young’s constitutional right to not be prosecuted twice for the same crime.