March 17, 2018
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Maine man indicted in alleged arson attack against girlfriend

Penobscot County Sheriff's Office | BDN
Penobscot County Sheriff's Office | BDN
Fred Roberts, 65, of Cornith.
By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

A Corinth man accused of trying to kill his longtime companion by setting fire to their home on Jan. 24 was indicted Wednesday by the Penobscot County grand jury on one count each of attempted murder and arson.

Fred Roberts, 65, remained Thursday at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor unable to post $200,000 cash bail.

He is scheduled to be arraigned March 12 at the Penobscot Judicial Center.

Roberts allegedly told investigators that the victim, Barbara King, 70, asked him to burn the house down because of her health problems. He allegedly decided to start the fire when he got up that morning, and used gasoline on the couch, carpet and on the stairs, according to the affidavit.

King jumped out a second-story window when she could not get down the stairs, her attorney, Christopher Largay of Bangor, said at Roberts’ first court appearance two days after the fire. She suffered a broken neck, fractured vertebrae and broken ribs in the fall, but is expected to recover.

Roberts was picked up not far from the home by a plow driver who took him back to the burning house, according to court documents. He at times referred to himself in the third person and told investigators he was Fred Robinson, his twin brother.

The fire, reported about 6 a.m. Jan. 24, destroyed the house, located at 788 Hudson Road, according to authorities.

If convicted, Roberts faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.

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