Appeal denied for topless coffee shop arsonist

5:34 AM, Apr 12, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - Maine's highest court has rejected the appeal of a man convicted of setting fire to a topless coffee shop in 2009, endangering seven people.

The court on Thursday rejected Raymond Bellavance Jr.'s appeal on the grounds he was denied a fair trial and an impartial jury.

Bellavance was sentenced to 30 years in prison for setting fire to the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro. Authorities say he was angry because his former girlfriend was dating the owner.

The owner and six family members including two infants had to flee the blaze. The judge who sentenced Bellavance said she imposed the maximum sentence because it was "sheer luck" nobody was killed.





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