DeWitt man sentenced after threatening to kill his neighbor, setting apartment on fire

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A DeWitt man convicted of threatening to kill his neighbor with a machete before setting an apartment on fire last November, learned his fate in court on Thursday.

Jonathan Almonte, 33 was sentenced to three and a half years in state prison, and five years post-release supervision. Almonte pleaded guilty to arson, burglary, menacing a police officer and menacing.

Inside the Onondaga County Courthouse, Judge Miller asked Almonte if he had anything to say, his response was “Thank you for your time, your honor.”

Almonte showed no emotion during his sentencing. The District Attorney’s Office says they are happy with the sentencing and believe state prison was the only outcome after learning about Almonte’s criminal past.

“There were mental health issues with the defendant, we were factoring those into this case. We were hoping that we would be able to come to some resolution and then we learned that he had some pretty serious charges down in New York City as well and based on that,d our position changed with all the facts of the case, as well as the case down in the city,” Assistant District Attornery Judson Knappen said.

Knappen added, “We originally wanted more time out of this case than the 3 and 1/2 years. The court felt based on his criminal history that the 3 1/2 years, plus the 5 years was sufficient. But overall, yes I think this is an appropriate disposition for this type of case.”

Almonte’s attorney did not want to go on camera but is hoping his client can get the mental health support he needs.

Almonte was arrested on November 14, 2020, after police in the town of DeWitt shut down a portion of East Genesee Street, near Wegmans for hours. Almonte threaten to kill his neighbor with a machete before he barricaded himself inside and set the apartment building on fire.

The building was evacuated and no one was injured. DeWitt Police came face to face with Almonte, who refused to drop his weapon. Police used a taser, which led to an officer firing his gun and missing Almonte.

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