LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Three counts of arson against a boy charged in some of the massive fires that ripped through Lewiston last Spring have been dropped Tuesday.
The boy, who was 12-years-old at the time, was charged with the first of several fires that spread fear among residents of in town Lewiston back in April.
The fire destroyed 3 apartment buildings, caused more than 1 million dollars in damage and left more than 75 people homeless. Two subsequent fires ripped through several more buildings over the next few days. Police say the 12-year admitted setting that first fire on the back porch of one of the Blake Street buildings.
His attorney argued the police did not inform the boy of his rights once he became a suspect. The judge agreed and threw out the statements. Without the confession the District Attorney had little choice but to dismiss the three counts of arson against the boy.
District Attorney Norm Croteau told NEWS CENTER he and investigators reviewed the case and evidence several times before reaching the decision to drop the charges. He said without those statements made by the boy there was simply not enough evidence to get a conviction.