SKOWHEGAN, Maine — A Bingham man accused of setting fire to a Bingham public works garage in March pleaded not guilty to the crime in Skowhegan District Court on Wednesday.
Brandon Sherwood, 29, faces a Class A arson charge for the blaze that caused half a million dollars in damage to the town building and equipment stored inside.
Sherwood was arrested on March 28 and taken to Somerset County Jail in Madison, where he is still being held on $100,000 bail.
John Alsop, Sherwood’s attorney, said in court that a plea offer was received from the district attorney’s office on Wednesday, and it was being discussed. A dispositional conference is set for July 24 at the court.
Fire investigators identified Sherwood was a suspect when he was seen looking for his dog near the garage after the fire was put out, according to Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.
Investigators later found the dead pit bull-labrador mix in the rubble of the building. McCausland said the dog was trapped inside after a flammable liquid was used to ignite the blaze.
Sherwood, who was arrested at his home without incident, is also believed to be a suspect in a fire that destroyed an ice cream stand in town, also over the weekend, McCausland said. Sherwood has not been charged in connection with that fire.
He faces up to 30 years in prison for the Class A offense and a fine of up to $50,000.