www.Midhudsonnews.com, Sept 27, 2022
GOSHEN – An Orange County Court jury Monday convicted a Newburgh man of arson, conspiracy, reckless endangerment, insurance fraud and tax fraud for torching his Town of Newburgh restaurant.
Zef Gjurashaj, 60, faces 25 years to life in prison on the arson conviction when sentenced in December in connection with the fire that destroyed Andiamo’s Restaurant at 5025 Route 9W in September 2017.
Prior to the trial, Gjurashaj’s co-defendant, Marina Gjurashaj, 38, of Yonkers, the wife of his nephew, pled guilty to arson and conspiracy for her role in setting the fire. As part of her plea agreement, she testified against Zef Gjurashaj at trial.
Prosecutors argued that knowing the business was in steep financial decline, Gjurashaj instructed his niece by marriage how to start the fire by removing a plug from a propane line in the kitchen and spraying an ignitable liquid on the floor, then opening the propane line and lighting the liquid.
The fire was so intense that it put the firefighters, and Gjurashaj’s wife, who was present at the time of the fire, at grave risk of death. Continue article