Dexter man who sparked manhunt behind bars in Bangor

Posted June 08, 2011, at 3:12 p.m.
Last modified June 08, 2011, at 6:06 p.m.
Henry Murdoch IV
Penobscot County Jail
Henry Murdoch IV

BANGOR, Maine — A Dexter man charged with setting fire to his home last year was behind bars Wednesday at the Penobscot County Jail after sparking a massive manhunt Friday night.

The mystery surrounding where Henry Murdoch IV was hiding was solved Monday when investigators with the State Fire Marshal’s Office learned that he had been admitted to a Waterville hospital over the weekend.

Murdoch turned himself in to Waterville police and was transferred to the jail after being released from the hospital. Details about when and how that happened were not available.

Murdoch, 45, was scheduled to appear at 1 p.m. Wednesday before District Court Judge Jessie Gunther on a motion to revoke his bail but refused to leave his cell and go the area where prisoners in custody appear via a teleconference link, said Margaret Gray, assistant district attorney for Penobscot County.

Gunther set bail at $5,000 cash or $15,000 surety — the same bail that was set in December when he was charged with arson and terrorizing — but did not set a date for a hearing on the motion to revoke his bail. A date to resolve the underlying charges has been set for Sept. 12.

Murdoch was released in late December on $15,000 surety bail put up by a relative, according to previously published reports. The arrest warrant was issued last week after the relative rescinded the bail in late May.

More than 40 law enforcement officers searched for Murdoch in the woods of St. Albans on Friday after a series of chases with local police.

Dexter Police Chief Jim Emerson said he and police Officer Kevin Wintle were tipped off that Murdoch was at a Dexter home Friday morning, so they went to serve the arrest warrant.

After Murdoch took off in his truck, Dexter police pursued him onto Route 7 toward Corinna, onto Line Road, then to Moody’s Mills Road to Fisher Road, according to Emerson. Murdoch then came back toward Dexter as far as Line Road, a dirt road off Fisher Road that turns into a “goat path,” according to the police chief. There, the police cruiser got caught up on a rock, he said, while Murdoch continued on.

In addition to the felony charges he already faces, Murdoch is likely to face a number of charges from Friday’s incident, law enforcement officials said earlier this week.

New charges were not filed before Murdoch’s scheduled court appearance Wednesday.

Efforts to reach his attorney, Stephen Smith of Bangor, were unsuccessful.

If convicted of the Class A arson charge, Murdoch faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

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