Man was shot before burning in Readfield fire, police say

Posted Feb. 11, 2011, at 4:34 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 11, 2011, at 7:46 p.m.

READFIELD, Maine - A former Massachusetts man shot a Readfield homeowner to death and set fire to the house before fleeing in a stolen pickup with jewelry, guns and money he took from the home, his girlfriend told police in court records.

David Silva Jr., who was arrested at his parents’ home in in Massachusetts after abandoning the homeowner’s truck, waived extradition during a brief hearing Friday in Wareham District Court. In Maine, Silva is expected to be formally charged Monday with murder, robbery and arson.

An affidavit filed in Kennebec County Superior Court indicates Silva used the stolen jewelry and money to get heroin after he and his girlfriend arrived in Massachusetts.

His girlfriend, Lindsay Spence, told investigators that Silva decided to rob Robert Orr after they discovered a safe, guns and money. She said she awoke Tuesday night to gunfire and saw the headless victim slouched in a chair before Silva set fire to the house, the affidavit said.

The house burned early Thursday and firefighters who sifted through the rubble of the home found a body believed to be that of Robert Orr but no traces of his guns, Janet Orr, the victim’s wife, told the Kennebec Journal. DNA will be used to confirm the identity of the body, which was burned beyond recognition.

Janet Orr told the Kennebec Journal that she and her husband let Silva and Spence stay in their home to help them get back on their feet. “We were just helping out a pair of kids,” said Orr, who was not at home at the time of the shooting because she was providing in-home health care for an elderly woman in Kents Hill.

According to the affidavit, Spence said the two of them fled – Spencer in her car, Silva in Orr’s truck – to Massachusetts, where Silva sold the guns and jewelry and bought six bags of heroin before abandoning Orr’s truck and dog in Marshfield, Mass.

Silva, who was being extradited Friday night, was arrested Thursday at his parents’ home in Carver, Mass. Spence was with him but was not charged.

Silva has several prior arrests, including arson in 1997 after he allegedly tossed two Molotov cocktails into a Carver home, The Patriot Ledger reported. Robert Orr also has ties to Carver, where he was one of seven children of the late Carver Police Chief Thomas Orr, the newspaper said.

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