Monroe man admits setting fire to ex-girlfriend’s house

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GOSHEN – A man from Monroe pleaded guilty before Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown to arson in connection with a house fire that occurred in the wee hours of May 5 in Juniper Drive in Monroe.

Nicholas Fontaine’s ex-girlfriend and her family were in the house when the fire broke out, damaging the exterior of the residence and destroying a car in the driveway.

On Thursday, October 28, a day after Fontaine, 23, pleaded guilty, a friend, Emanuel Watson, 24, of Monroe, admitted to acting with him to set the fire on fire.

Prosecutors argued that at around 1:40 a.m. on May 5, Fontaine and Watson had repeatedly poured gasoline on the ex-girlfriend’s 2018 Hyundai Elantra parked in the driveway next to the House.

Ring camera recordings showed the car was set on fire and the fire quickly spread to the coating of the building, which ignited.

Both men admitted that they had reason to believe the residence was occupied when the fire started.

No one was injured during the accident.

According to the plea deals reached in court, Fontaine will be sentenced to nine years in state prison and five years of post-release supervision when he is sentenced in December. Watson will be sentenced to five years in prison and five years of post-release supervision when sentenced, also in December.

“There are few scenarios as frightening as waking up to find out that your residence is on fire,” District Attorney David Hoovler said. “Arson endangers not only the victims targeted, but also those who occupy neighboring residences, as well as the brave firefighters who regularly risk their lives to protect our lives and property. “

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