4 accused in Lewiston arson make first court appearances

6:54 PM, May 13, 2013   |    comments
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  • Brian Morin faces arson charges in connection with a fire in Lewiston.
  • Bryan Wood faces arson charges in connection with a fire in Lewiston.

LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - All four of the suspects accused of setting three separate arsons in Lewiston appeared in court Monday.

Two twelve year olds were arrested separately and charged for the first two fires. Those fires were at occupied buildings on Blake and Pierce streets five days apart. Prosecutors do not believe the fires are linked.

The first juvenile was charged with 3 counts of arson. The second is facing four counts. Both boys denied the charges during court appearances Monday afternoon and were sent back to a youth detention center in South Portland.

"They're doing about as poorly as you'd expect," said Allan Lobozzo, the lawyer representing the first suspect, "...Given the fact that their 12 year old, who has never had so much as a behavioral issue at school, is now in custody."

Jeffrey Dolley, who is representing the second suspect, pointed to his client's age, "I think it's important to consider this is a child, a 12 year old child, we're talking about. He doesn't have the maturity [or] wisdom of most people who go through this, so we have to look at that as well."

After the boys' appearances, the two adults charged with sparking the third blaze were arraigned.

That fire destroyed two vacant buildings and damaged another one on Bartlett Street one week ago.

The police affidavit says Brian Morin told investigators that he and Bryan Wood agreed to set fire to the buildings on Bartlett Street.

Morin apparently told investigators Wood sprayed butane on materials outside the buildings and lit them on fire. 

Morin told police that they were motivated to start the fire because they were "sick and tired" of all the abandoned buildings and the lack of repair work by the landlords.

District Court Judge John Belliveau said he was sending a message when he ordered both Morin and Wood to be held on $350,000 cash bail. "This is a kind of random act. This was a very densely populated area and this was based on probable cause," Belliveau explained, "It's very concerning to me as a member of this community that this kind of action took place."

Bryan Wood initially went to police to report seeing Morin near the burning building. His lawyer, Steve Carey, says Wood will be undergoing a competency evaluation for another court case he is involved in.

Morin has a lengthy criminal history, including numerous violations of the state's sex offender registry requirements.


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