Clarendon man sentenced to state prison for arson

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 4 January 2023 at 6:48 pm

ALBION – A Clarendon man was sentenced to 3 to 6 years in state prison today by Orleans County Court Judge Sanford Church.

William Grathouse III, 49, of Clarendon faced charges of third-degree arson, second-degree insurance and fourth-degree criminal solicitation.

Grathouse, a second-felony offender, allegedly had someone start a fire at his home at Holley-Byron Road on Nov. 29, 2020 so he could collect the insurance money.

In other cases in county court today:

Jeremiah Thomas, 36, of Albion was sentenced to 6 months in the Orleans County Jail and 5 years of probation. He pleaded guilty to criminal mischief in the third degree and reckless endangerment in the second degree in a road rage incident.

Thomas admitted in court to using his pickup to drive into the front of a car in the McDonalds in Medina on May 18. The incident caused more than $8,000 in damage and put the other driver at risk of significant injury, according to the District Attorney’s office.

Thomas said he has been making progress through a anger management program. His attorney asked for a probation sentence with no jail time so Thomas could continue working and supporting his family, including a baby due to be born in March.

But Judge Church said Thomas has a history of absconding and trying to avoid his sentences. The judge said incarceration was warranted, but he gave Thomas a reduced sentence. As part of a plea agreement, Thomas could have faced 1 1/3 to 4 years in state prison.

Assistant DA John Sansone said Thomas’s actions on May 18 were “a very serious road rage incident” where he twice stopped the other driver between Albion and Medina, and then ran into his car while the other driver had a child in the vehicle.

Thomas said the other driver was taking photos of his truck, which made him think that driver intended to steal the truck or vandalize it.

The judge also issued an order of protection for the other driver.

Patrick Casanova, 29, of Medina pleaded guilty to second-degree assault. He admitted to punching a woman in the face in Aug. 11, which fractured her orbital bone and damaged her sinus. He could face 2 to 4 years in state prison when he is sentenced on March 8.