Man sentenced for setting Emmett church fires

Credit: Troy Colson/KTVB

Man sentenced for setting Emmett church fires

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by KTVB

KTVB.COM

Posted on December 12, 2013 at 5:11 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 12 at 6:57 PM

EMMETT -- A man who admitted setting fire to two churches in Emmett last spring has been ordered to serve at least five years in prison.

William Dorahush Jr., 46, was sentenced Thursday to 25 years, with five years fixed, for first-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson for setting fire to the Emmett Baptist Church and Community Bible Church on April 27, 2013.

These arson fires rocked the small community of Emmett.

Both church pastors awoke that Saturday morning to learn their buildings were on fire.

Church members arrived later that morning, horrified and saddened to see the destruction.

Emmett Mayor Bill Butticci called the fires disturbing.

Investigators almost immediately labeled the fires “suspicious.”  They say Dorahush and Bradley Thomasson broke into the churches and stole items before setting them ablaze to hide their crimes.

Dorahush pleaded guilty in September.  Prosecutors agreed to drop grand theft and burglary charges. His criminal record shows Dorahush has four prior convictions for arson.

Once the damage costs to the churches are officially determined, Dorahush will be ordered to pay restitution, which is estimated to be around $2 million.

Thomasson remains in prison on unrelated charges.  His case has not gone to trial yet.

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