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Man charged with setting homeless man on fire 5 years ago returns to Maine

Kevin Bennett | BDN
Kevin Bennett | BDN
Bangor Police Detective Timothy Cotton (left) removes Kenneth Bruning from a transport van at the Penobscot County Jail just after 10 p.m. Friday, June 17, 2011. Bruning was extradited from South Dakota and has been indicted in the 2006 death of Trevor Sprague.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine —The South Dakota inmate charged with setting a homeless man on fire along the Kenduskeag Stream more than five years ago was returned to Maine late Friday.

Kenneth John Bruning, 25, of Rapid City, S.D., who now is being held at the Penobscot County Jail, is  expected to make his first court appearance and most likely be arraigned Monday at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Bruning waived extradition from South Dakota last month. Bangor police Detectives Timothy Cotton and Brent Beaulieu about 10:10 p.m. Friday escorted Bruning out of a green van and into the jail through a back door. Bruning was indicted in November by the Penobscot County grand jury on a charge of intentional or knowing murder in the death of Trevor Sprague, 34, of Lubec.

Sprague’s body was found facedown and on fire under the Harlow Street Bridge on March 7, 2006. The 34-year-old Lubec native and Bangor transient was known to camp along the Kenduskeag Stream.

Details about the circumstances surrounding Sprague’s death and what led investigators to Bruning have not been released.

Bangor police confirmed last year that Bruning was a member of Bangor’s transient population when Sprague was killed.

A trial date has not been set.

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