April 24, 2018
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Man charged with topless coffee shop arson wants trial moved

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA, Maine — A 49-year-old Maine man charged with burning down a topless coffee shop wants his trial moved.

Raymond Bellavance Jr. claims pretrial publicity will make it too hard to find an unbiased jury in Kennebec County. Bellavance is charged with setting fire to the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro last year.

According to the Kennebec Journal, Bellavance’s attorney on Monday showed Kennebec County Superior Court Justice Robert Murray eight newspaper stories featuring Bellavance that appeared between April and July.

Prosecutors objected to the motion. Murray said he would rule later.

Police say Bellavance set the fire because he was angry at his ex-girlfriend, who worked at the shop and allegedly had a relationship with the owner.

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