Preteen to be arraigned on arson charges Monday

LEWISTON — Twelve-year-old Brody Covey is scheduled to be arraigned Monday, May 6, on three felony charges of arson in the fire that destroyed three apartment buildings in the downtown Monday.

Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Brody Covey, 12, of Lewiston talks with a police officer and a state fire investigator (hidden) Monday during a fire that destroyed three downtown apartment buildings in Lewiston. Covey has since been charged with three counts of felony arson.

Covey, of Lewiston, was charged Thursday and is being held in a juvenile detention facility pending Monday’s hearing.

Under Maine’s Juvenile Criminal Code, because Covey has been charged with Class A felony crimes, his identity is not protected and the court proceedings involving his case are open to the public.

Katie Hunnefield, one of the displaced tenants, said she saw Covey when she went to get assistance from the Red Cross. "I saw no remorse, no fear, no anguish on his face," she said.

Some tenants said that, other than seeing him come and go, they didn't know Brody very well. He lived in one of the second-floor apartments on Blake Street, they said, with his mother, Jessica Reilly, and his stepfather, Charles Epps.

The couple has another son and two daughters; the youngest girl was born March 24, according to birth records.

Epps was released from the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn the day of the fire, according to jail officials. He had been there a short time for a probation violation.

One teenager who knew Covey from school said he seemed shy and didn't talk much. But she didn't know much more than that and couldn't speculate on why he may have started the blaze.

The tenement at 105 Blake St., where the fire began, had been condemned for a variety of reasons, although six of nine units were still occupied at the time of the fire. City officials said the building had mold, a leaky roof and crumbling porches. One former tenant described conditions inside the apartments as depressing and unsafe. There were roaches and bedbugs, she said, and drug use was rampant.

The fire displaced 75 people and caused about $1 million in property damage. Other than the Blake Street building, the other apartments that were destroyed were at 172 Bates St. and 82 Pine St.

At a news conference Thursday, Lewiston police Chief Michael Bussiere did not identify the suspect by name but said the fire had been set intentionally behind the Blake Street building.

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Bob Wright's picture

It appears as if the kid and

It appears as if the kid and his family were part of the Juggalo movement which was recently classified by the FBI as a violent gang. Is last nights fire related?

AL PELLETIER's picture

And who's to blame for that conduct?

When I was 12 a couple of buddies and I got into some mischief. We stole some boards from an old lumber mill yard and built our little hide away cabin. The mill owner found his stolen lumber and sued---guess who? Yup, my parents.
He would have received a judgement except for the fact that his pile of boards were on my dads land.
In short, my conduct at 12 years old, was my parents responsibility and they were equally culpable.
What is different about this?

Gerry Thompson's picture

stealing a few boards

Stealing a few boards is not a Class A felony

Thomas Hamilton's picture


Good point. Where were the parents and what is there responsibility?

Bob Wright's picture

Why did he do it? There are

Why did he do it? There are usually underlying reasons why a juvenile firestarter acts.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

That boy, with one extremely

That boy, with one extremely foolish deed, has probably redefined the rest of his life. At age twelve, he'll get out of 'juvie' (unless he's tried as an adult) at age 21 and will have spent half of his young life behind bars. How stupid and thoughtless can one be.


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