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.
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.