Jury Convicts Fulton Man of Felony Arson

OSWEGO – Today (September 1), an Oswego County jury convicted William E. Newton, (DOB 7/22/83), of Fulton, of Arson in the Third Degree, a class C felony, and Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree for intentionally setting fire to his 2002 Ford Explorer in the town of Granby on August 19, 2015.

Oswego County Court Judge Donald E. Todd presided over the case.

On August 19, 2015, members of the Cody Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire on King Road in the town of Granby.  A subsequent investigation by the Oswego County Fire Coordinator’s Office, New York State Police and Cody Fire Department determined the fire was intentionally set.

The evidence at trial showed that approximately 20 minutes before the fire, Newton had left an auto body repair shop where he received an estimate to repair previous damage to the vehicle.

In 2011, Newton had previously been convicted of Attempted Criminal Possession of Controlled Substance in the Third Degree, a class C felony, in Onondaga County.

He had also been convicted of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, in 2009 in Onondaga County.

Newton faces a maximum sentence of 7 ½ to 15 years in the New York State Correctional System for the Arson in the Third Degree conviction and one year on the Reckless Endangerment in the Second Degree conviction.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bell prosecuted the case for the People.

The defense attorney was George Hildebrandt of Syracuse.

District Attorney Greg Oakes said, “I wish to thank the jury for the attention and deliberation. I commend the efforts of the New York State Police, Cody Fire Department, and the Oswego County Fire Coordinator’s Office in helping to convict this repeat felon.”

Sentencing is scheduled October 3 in Oswego County Court.