March 22, 2013

Palmyra couple plead not guilty in alleged arson

The pair are charged with setting a fire that damaged their home in Palmyra five years ago.

By DOUG HARLOW Morning Sentinel

SKOWHEGAN – A Palmyra couple pleaded not guilty in court Friday to a felony charge of arson in connection with a fire that badly damaged their home more than five years ago.

Trevor Louis Turner, 41, and Carissa Jo Turner, 38, both of 19 Libby Hill Road, are charged with setting the fire on Sept. 17, 2007, to collect the insurance.

They each were arraigned separately Friday by video from the Somerset County Jail in East Madison.

Meanwhile, authorities were still not saying Friday what led to the charges more than five years later.

Attorney John Martin of Skowhegan, who represented Carissa Jo Turner, said Friday afternoon that the state Fire Marshal's Office recently received new information on the case, which otherwise had become a cold-case arson.

"The fire marshal at some point or another came into some new information, which prompted them to ask more questions," Martin said. "As I understand it, there was some talk with the defendants, so they decided to go forward with the charge."

The Turners were arrested Wednesday on a warrant after the Somerset County grand jury handed up indictments.

As a condition of release, the judge ordered the couple not to possess any incendiary device, including matches and cigarette lighters.

The fire was reported at the Turners' two-story, gambrel-roof home on Libby Hill Road in Palmyra about 1 p.m. Sept. 17, 2007.

No one was home when the fire was reported. Flames were pouring through the walls and windows when firefighters arrived.

District Attorney Maeghan Maloney said Thursday that details of the investigation will not be discussed until the couple go to trial. She said it was a difficult case to investigate, but that the Turners cooperated fully with the investigation.

The Turners and their two children had lived in the home for 13 years.

 

Doug Harlow can be contacted at 612-2367 or at:

dharlow@centralmaine.com

 

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