May 21, 2018
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Former millworker indicted for setting massive fire in Lincoln

Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
Nick Sambides Jr. | BDN
This November 2017 photo was taken a day after three arson fires were set at the former Lincoln paper mill.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Updated:

A man accused of starting a massive fire in November that destroyed one large building and heavily damaged another at the former Lincoln paper mill was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on two counts of arson.

David G. Parsons, 59, of Lincoln allegedly admitted to setting two separate fires at the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC site.

An arraignment date has not been set.

Parsons told an investigator with Office of the State Fire Marshal that he worked for the mill for nearly 20 years but was fired in 2013, three years before it shut down, according to an affidavit.

He was questioned the day after the fires, when investigators learned that fire department personnel had taken a man to Penobscot Valley Hospital with chest pains who talked about the fire in the ambulance, the affidavit said.

“The front of Parsons’ hair on his head and also his beard had been burned, his hands were blackened and he smelled of smoke,” Sgt. Glenn Graef, an arson investigator, wrote of his interview with Parsons.

During that interview, Graef seized Parsons’ jacket, which had burn holes in it, and a lighter leash with a black Hollywood Casino lighter attached to it, the affidavit said.

Parsons was arrested on Nov. 16, 2017, and made his first court appearance the next day. He asked the judge to send him to a psychiatric hospital rather than to jail. Instead, the judge set bail at $20,000 cash, which Parsons has been unable to post.

His attorney, Terence Harrigan of Bangor, said a psychiatric evaluation will be sought.

“We are looking at, hopefully, getting him the help he wants and needs,” Harrigan said Wednesday in an email.

If convicted, Parsons faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. He also could be ordered to pay restitution to mill owners.

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