Police shed more light on family arson case

NORWICH – Police say a grandfather knew his family members were going to try to burn down their Coventry home last August.

The Chenango County Sheriff’s Office arrested the grandfather, 70-year-old Joseph S. Dietzman, his daughter, 36-year-old homeowner Kimberly Koster and her daughter, 17-year-old Chelsie M. Koster, following investigation into a Coventry blaze on Aug. 13.

Dietzman appeared in Chenango County Court Friday during an arson evidence hearing, at which police contended he admitted to having knowledge of the crime before the home was set ablaze.

All three co-defendants were indicted Oct. 20 for third degree arson, a class C felony, and fourth degree conspiracy, a misdemeanor, after they allegedly collaborated in burning down the Kosters’ Coventry home.

“The defendant did intentionally damage her dwelling by pouring gasoline inside her residence which was later set on fire by a co-defendant, causing complete loss of the residence,” stated Kimberly Koster’s indictment.

The indictment identified that codefendant as her daughter, Chelsie. She participated in the incident “by starting a fire when she intentionally lit a match and placed it on a pile of clothes inside the residence,” according to the indictment.

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