Bail set at $1M for man accused in arsons

MAYVILLE — A Jamestown area man accused of setting more than a dozen fires locally last year was arraigned in Chautauqua County Court on Thursday.

Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson said 20-year-old Jonathan H. Young was arraigned on a 25-count indictment that includes 13 felony arson charges. Bail was set at $1 million cash/property, $2 million bond at the proceeding in front of County Court Judge David Foley.

Young pleaded not guilty during his arraignment and was remanded back to the Chautauqua County Jail. A pre-trial conference in front of Foley has been scheduled Oct. 1 between the DA’s office and Young’s attorney in the Public Defender’s Office.

Young has already appeared in court in Warren and Butler counties in Pennsylvania this year on separate charges. In Butler County, Young was sentenced after setting fire to a home in Slippery Rock Township. He traveled to the area after reportedly stealing a car from a home near Russell, Pa., in Warren County. He was sentenced for the latter late last month before he was extradicted to Chautauqua County this week.

Despite the almost yearlong period from the time Young was indicted in Chautauqua County to his arraignment Thursday, Swanson told The Post-Journal it’s not uncommon for some cases to be delayed when multiple jurisdictions are involved. The district attorney said his office is ready to proceed and noted that he will soon meet with Young’s defense to discuss evidence.

“We are ready to move forward,” Swanson said.

Young is accused of setting more than a dozen fires in Jamestown and Falconer between March 2-25 last year. He was indicted last year by a Chautauqua County grand jury 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.

Young’s targets locally included an occupied apartment at 621 E. Sixth St. on March 2; a vacant apartment at the same location later that same day; an abandoned home at 2840 Woodlawn Ave. on March 6; an abandoned garage at the same location on March 12; a condemned home at 441 Winsor St. on March 22; an occupied building at 29 to 39 W. Main St. in Falconer on March 22; a condemned apartment at 621 E. Sixth St. on March 23; a condemned home at 650 E. Sixth St. on March 24; a condemned home at 220 Crossman St. on March 25; a debris pile near a home at 30 W. 11th St. on March 25; a condemned home at 22 W. 11th St.; and a condemned home at 33 W. 10th St. on March 25.

According to Harry Snellings, Jamestown police chief, Young had been reported missing and was already a suspect after two fires broke out within 24 at the 621 E. Sixth St. property. At a press conference announcing Young’s arrest, Snellings said there were “several pieces of evidence” linking Young to the arson attacks and that a surveillance video released showing Young near a 441 Winsor St. fire likely “motivated” the teen to leave the area at the time.