Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The investigation into an allegation of attempted arson in Gorham and the shooting that followed is on hold while the boy who was shot remains in the hospital.
Meanwhile, the boy's attorney says he doesn't believe the shooting was justified.
The 14-year-old remains in intensive care for treatment of injuries he suffered in the incident July 13.
Investigators say the teenager was trying to set a deck on fire at 8 Mountainview Drive just before midnight when the homeowner shot him. The boy was wearing a snowmobile mask that showed just his eyes and was dressed in dark clothing -- what one official described as "like a ninja."
Detective Dana Thompson, who is investigating the case for Gorham police, said police have forwarded the case against the teenager to the District Attorney's Office. He said investigators must interview the boy before prosecutors can determine whether the homeowner was justified in using deadly force.
A witness who was there exchanged words with the teenager but it's unclear what the homeowner knew when he fired the shot that injured the boy, Thompson said.
"There's no evidence yet to suggest the (homeowner) recognized him during the shooting," Thompson said. "The question will be what he knew and when he knew it."
Authorities said last month that the incident may have stemmed from a dispute between the 14-year-old and a youth who lives in the home. Thompson said Friday that there is no evidence to suggest that was the case.
Thompson said the boy will likely be charged with attempted arson but that decision will have to wait until he is released from the hospital.
According to Gorham's tax records, the home is owned by Craig Bassingthwaite, a Gorham Grizzlies football coach and a board member of the Gorham Football Boosters, and his wife, Tracey.
The boy's attorney, Peter Rodway, confirmed that the teenager remains in the hospital but would not discuss his condition or the nature of his injuries.
Rodway said the situation will become clearer when the evidence is presented.
"The law is, you can use deadly force to prevent an attempted arson," Rodway said. "I'm pretty sure there was no attempted arson at the time my client was shot. I don't want to concede there ever was an attempted arson. I don't think there was."
Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at: