October 17, 2013

Lewiston arson case confession tossed out

A judge says police took too long to inform the suspect of his rights in the case of one of the city’s three major fires.

By Scott Dolan sdolan@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Firefighters battle a blaze that heavily damaged three apartment buildings in downtown Lewiston on April 29 . The confession of the boy charged with starting the fire has been thrown out by a judge.

AP Photo/Sun Journal, Amber Waterman

Covey’s mother did not respond to a request for comment.

For now, Covey still faces three counts of arson in juvenile court. Authorities say he started a fire on the porch behind the condemned building at 109 Blake St., where he lived with his family, which faced imminent eviction.

The fire spread and destroyed two adjacent buildings, at 172 Bates St. and 82 Pine St.

If convicted, Covey could be committed to a youth detention facility until he turns 21. His case is open to the public by Maine law, unlike many juvenile cases, because of the seriousness of the charges.

The fire that Covey is accused of starting was followed by unrelated arson fires on May 3 and May 6 in downtown Lewiston.

Another boy, Abdi Ibrahim, is charged with starting the fire on May 3. He was 12 at the time, and is now 13. He has denied four counts of arson in the blaze, which destroyed four apartment buildings.

The prosecution has filed a motion in Ibrahim’s case to have him evaluated for competency. Ibrahim’s attorney has opposed the motion. A court hearing is scheduled for next month.

Brian Morin, 30, and Bryan Wood, 23, were accused of starting the fire on May 6 that destroyed two vacant buildings on Bartlett Street.

Morin has pleaded not guilty to two counts of arson.

Justice MaryGay Kennedy ruled in August that Wood is incompetent to stand trial and likely will not be competent in the foreseeable future, leading to his case’s dismissal.

Scott Dolan can be contacted at 791-6304 or at:

sdolan@pressherald.com

Twitter: @scottddolan

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