ROCHESTER – New York State’s Fourth Appellate Division ruled Friday that they’ve unanimously dismissed the indictment against Jonathan H. Young, 22, who was charged in connection with numerous fires in the Jamestown/Falconer area.
The Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office previously appealed a decision from Judge David Foley dated Feb. 8, 2019 suppressing statements that Young allegedly made to Pennsylvania State Police. Young was indicted on 14 counts of arson and 11 counts of criminal mischief.
Assistant District Attorney John Zuroski appeared before New York State’s 4th Appellate Division in December to argue the appeal of a ruling that suppressed evidence against Young.
Zuroski told the court that Jamestown Police did not participate in questioning, but rather, observed Pennsylvania State Police interrogate Young. The troopers, according to Zuroski, were primarily focused on their case, not the case in New York.
Kaixi Xu, who represented Young, argued that Pennsylvania State Police acted as “agents” of the Jamestown Police Department. Furthermore, Xu said that Young should have been re-mirandized when asked questions about New York’s case.
When reached for comment, Chautauqua County District Attorney Patrick Swanson declined.
WNYNewsNow also reached Chautauqua County Public Defender Ned Barone via phone for comment Friday evening Barone said that his office, along with Young, are “thrilled” with the outcome.
“We’re extremely thrilled with the decision,” Barone said. “I know they took a little bit of extra time given the importance (of the case). I think the appellate division saw it for what it was.”
“I think it’s a win for our fundamental rights (rather than for his office and Young)…Don’t forget, he spent over a year in jail on these charges.”
Barone said that the District Attorney could refile charges if they so choose. The attorney added that Young was released from the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office this afternoon.
WNYNewsNow will continue to follow the story.