A hearing for the man accused of setting a blaze at the Dike Newell School in Bath last year was delayed Wednesday as prosecutors and his defense attorney work out the details of a plea deal.

Allan Thomas Vigil is led out of West Bath District Court Wednesday following a hearing. Jason Claffey / The Times Record

Allan Thomas Vigil, 31, of Bath, appeared in West Bath District Court for a hearing where his Bath-based attorney, Jennifer Cohen, requested a 60-day continuance, which Superior Court Justice Daniel Billings approved. Vigil had been expected to plead guilty to an arson charge, according to court documents.

Vigil was led out of court back to Two Bridges Regional Jail in Wiscasset, where he has been held without bail.

Cohen declined to comment after the hearing.

Murdick said the delay will allow for further negotiations on a plea deal.

“It’s a pretty complicated case. There are a lot of moving parts,” he said.


The latest version of the plea deal would involve Vigil pleading guilty to arson, a Class A felony, and burglary, a Class C felony, according to Murdick. The arson charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. The burglary charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

“We expect him to plead guilty,” Murdick said.

In 2014, Vigil was sentenced to probation, with a 12-year suspended prison sentence, after he was accused of setting several fires in Bath, including at the Merrymeeting Center for Child Development in 2013.

Vigil allegedly admitted to police he broke into the Dike Newell School on June 10, 2022, and used a lighter to ignite “lots of paper” he found in a supply closet, according to court documents. Firefighters said the knob on a propane kitchen stove was turned on, according to the documents. The blaze rapidly spread, and two firefighters were injured.

Vigil was arrested the next day. Three days after the fire, flames reignited from smoldering embers, causing further damage to the school.

The fire destroyed about 60% of the school and left it unusable. The school’s roughly 225 students in grades pre-K through 2 were moved to temporary classrooms at the former Bath Regional Career and Technical Center on High Street. Those students could remain there for the next several years as school officials plan a rebuilding project.

Vigil is due back in court Sept. 27 to enter his plea then face sentencing if he admits guilt.

The Dike Newell School in Bath after a fire broke out June 10, 2022. Maria Skillings / The Times Record file photo

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