LEWISTON — A judge set bail at $10,000 cash or $5,000 cash with conditions Friday for a 21-year-old woman accused of running over her ex-boyfriend's foot, throwing Molotov cocktails at two cars parked in front of his apartment building and leading police on a pair of high-speed chases.
Heather Kullson of Lewiston is charged with two counts of arson, two counts of eluding an officer and one count of aggravated assault. She made her initial appearance in 8th District Court in Lewiston.
Assistant District Attorney Patricia Reynolds Regan asked Judge Rick Lawrence for $10,000 cash bail, calling Kullson "an extreme danger to the public and to herself."
Kullson's lawyer, James Howaniec, argued for lower bail, noting that his client has no money and strongly denies lighting or throwing any Molotov cocktails. He characterized Kullson as a good college student and young mother who has never been in trouble with the law, other than a traffic stop, and has never been treated for mental illness.
"She has no history of doing anything like this," he told the judge. "It's kind of a strange case. She's a very bright, intelligent young woman with no history of violence."
Howaniec said Kullson had suffered a head injury during military boot camp when she was about 18 and her parents have seen behavioral issues in her since then. He said he would agree to a mental health evaluation for Kullson.
After Kullson's father told the court that he could put up $5,000, the judge ordered $10,000 cash bail or $5,000 in cash under the condition that she be supervised by Maine Pretrial Services and receive a mental health assessment. If she posts bail, she will also be prohibited from driving and must stay away from her ex-boyfriend and Walnut Street, where the alleged incident took place.
Kullson has been held at the Androscoggin County Jail on $25,000 cash bail since she was arrested Tuesday.
In court documents, Lewiston police say Kullson and her boyfriend, David Pelletier, broke up after Pelletier was arrested last week on a charge of theft and Kullson didn't bail him out of jail. On Tuesday evening, after the breakup, the pair met at Pelletier's Walnut Street apartment building so Kullson could retrieve her belongings.
According to police, Pelletier brought Kullson's things out to her car. When she saw him, they said, she threw the car in reverse, backed up the street and then sped forward, aiming for him. Police said Pelletier tried to jump out of the way but couldn't get clear and Kullson ran over his left ankle. She sped off, police said, and Pelletier hobbled inside but did not call police because he was out on bail and did not want to get law enforcement involved.
Police said Pelletier then heard the revving of a car engine outside. When he looked out the window, they said, he saw Kullson throw a lit bottle out her car window. They said she then went up the street, returned and threw another one. Someone called police.
Lewiston police said they spotted Kullson's Honda Civic near Howe Street soon after and tried to stop her, but Kullson fled. They pursued her for several minutes through Lewiston and Auburn, with speeds reaching 100 mph, according to court documents, but police called off the chase due to concerns over public safety.
Her car was spotted again about 30 minutes later in the area of Birch and Pierce streets. Police said they pursued her again, this time involving officers from Lewiston, Auburn, the Androscoggin County Sheriff's Office and Maine State Police. She was stopped in Poland about 20 minutes later and arrested.