Upstate New York Man Set Ex-Lover’s Hudson Valley Home On Fire, Sentenced
Days after ending his engagement, a Hudson Valley man set his ex's home on fire, where she lived with her two young children.
On Monday, an Ulster County man was sentenced for setting his fiancé's house on fire.
Saugerties Man Sentenced For Setting Ex-Lover's House On Fire
Ulster County Court Judge Bryan Rounds sentenced 44-year-old Timothy Benzenhoefer of Malden, New York, to 5 to 15 years in prison.
Benzenhoefer pleaded guilty to arson in the third degree in February.
What Happened In Saugerties, New York
On June 25, 2022, a few days after calling off his engagement, Benzenhoefer completely burned to the ground the home where the victim and her two young daughters lived in Saugerties, New York.
Two days before, Benzenhoefer was removed from the house after a court order was issued to protect the victim and her children from the abuse and destruction from the Ulster County man, officials say.
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"(The) defendant and the victim were intimate partners living together with her minor children at home in Saugerties meeting the definition of family members under New York Law. Defendant previously struggled with significant alcohol and domestic abuse problems but showed no serious commitment to recovery or rehabilitation. His efforts at recovery resulted in (a) relapse into alcohol and domestic abuse," the Ulster County DA's office stated.
The children, who initially loved him, became increasingly worried for their safety as his drinking and attendant threats, and abuse escalated, officials say.
"He once threatened to kill them and burn down the house. After a domestic dispute which occurred just prior to the arson, the defendant urinated all over the victim’s bed," the DA's office added in a press release.
The family feared for their safety and fled the home the night before Benzenhoefer burned the house down. The mother and her young daughters all spoke in court. Judge Rounds issued final orders of protection for each of them.
Read More: State Of Emergency Declared In Nearly 30 New York State Counties
GoFundMe For Ulster County, New York Victims
A GoFundMe identified Jolene Hinchey and her daughters as the victim. The GoFundMe was set up to help the family recover.
As of this writing, nearly $8,000 has been raised. CLICK HERE To donate.