Emmett church fire suspects have criminal pasts

kterhune@idahostatesman.com, cmsewell @idahostatesman.comMay 15, 2013 


Firefighters attacked the fire at Community Bible Church in Emmett from the ground and from the roof early Saturday. They removed an attic fan to vent the smoke from the building.

PROVIDED BY CAROL GARDNER — Provided by Carol Gardner

Bradley Ryan Thomasson, 41, spent 22 years in prison for killing his adoptive parents in Nez Perce County in 1989.

William Charles Dorahush Jr., 45, has two previous felony convictions for arson in 1992 in Madison County, as well as convictions for burglary, grand theft, escape and possession of a firearm.

The men were each charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree arson and burglary and theft. Both men were already in the Gem County Jail on unrelated charges.

Dorahush appeared Thursday in Gem County court on five felony charges — two first-degree arson, two burglary and one grand theft — and one misdemeanor charge for petit theft. His next court appearance is May 28.

Thomasson, who has been been moved to Idaho State Correctional Institution, has not yet been arraigned.

The men were arrested after Thomasson failed to check in with his parole officer and was declared an absconder by the Idaho Department of Correction on May 2. Thomasson and Dorahush were found together in a Gem County home and arrested May 9 by IDOC’s Fugitive Recovery Unit, working with the U.S. Marshals Service and the Gem County Sheriff’s Office.

Thomasson was a teenager when he shot his parents after an argument over the family car. He was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to 10 years to life on each count. Thomasson was released on parole in January 2012 after serving nearly 22 years in prison.

Dorahush is wanted in Oklahoma on a slew of drug charges from last year, including cultivation of marijuana and possession with intent to distribute. He apparently failed to appear midtrial.

Community Bible Church and First Baptist Church, within a quarter-mile of each other, were set ablaze on April 27, investigators said. The fires seriously damaged the inside of both buildings, temporarily displacing the congregations. Items were also missing from the churches, officials said.

If convicted, Thomasson and Dorahush each face up to 25 years on the arson charge, up to 10 years on the burglary charge up to 20 years on the theft charge.

Katie Terhune: 377-6219

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