December 17, 2018
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Police say Maine man conspired to kill woman after burning her house down

Courtesy of Washington County Jail
Courtesy of Washington County Jail
Robert H. Boggia Jr.

A Whiting man facing a string of felony charges is accused of conspiring to kill a Blue Hill woman whose house he allegedly burned down nearly six years ago, according to court documents.

Robert H. Boggia Jr., 33, is accused of setting fire in January 2013 to a woman’s house in Blue Hill, according to documents filed in Hancock County Unified Criminal Court. He also is accused in Washington County, where he is being held in jail on $50,000 bail, of conspiring in October to arrange the killing of the woman who owned the home. Those plans were never set in motion.

An overheated wood stove was thought to be the likely cause of the fire, which destroyed the home, according to news reports at the time. Matthew Foster, district attorney for Hancock and Washington counties, said Thursday that investigators recently obtained more evidence in the case, but he declined to specify what the evidence is.

Foster said this fall, Boggia allegedly tried to persuade another inmate at Washington County Jail, whom he thought was due to be released, to kill the owner of the destroyed Blue Hill home. The other inmate has been cooperating with the investigation and so has not been charged in connection with the alleged murder conspiracy, Foster said.

Boggia’s defense attorney, Don Brown, did not return a message left Wednesday at his office in Brewer.

Boggia is scheduled to make his first appearance in Ellsworth court on the arson charge Dec. 18.

Boggia faces other charges, all of which have been filed in Washington County. In addition to arson and conspiring to commit murder, Boggia also faces charges of gross sexual assault, aggravated trafficking in drugs, possession of a firearm by a felon, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, theft, domestic violence assault, domestic violence terrorizing and obstructing the report of a crime.

Most of the charges are connected to alleged crimes that occured between February 2017 and January of this year, and involve a different woman who, at the time, lived in Columbia Falls, according to court documents.

Boggia was arrested by Maine State Police in February after the Columbia Falls woman contacted police. She had “fled the state and was currently living in Florida to get away from Boggia,” police wrote in court documents.

Boggia has two prior court convictions in Ellsworth for domestic violence assault, according to court records. His criminal history also includes convictions for cultivating marijuana, assault, obstructing the report of a crime, illegal possession of a firearm and multiple counts of violating conditions of release.

For the most recent conviction, in April 2016, he was sentenced to three years behind bars with all but seven months suspended and was ordered to serve two years of probation after he was released.

He was still on probation this past February when police learned of the new allegations against him. Prior felony convictions prohibit Boggia from owning or possessing firearms, but police believe he kept at least one handgun during business hours at retail marijuana shops he operated in Machias and Calais, according to Foster.

If Boggia is convicted of conspiracy to commit murder, arson or gross sexual assault, each of which is a Class A crime, he could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000.


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