Man charged with arson, girlfriend tells police he bought gasoline shortly before fire

AUBURN — Authorities say a Lewiston man spread gasoline through the rooms of his ex-girlfriend's apartment before trying to burn it down.

Trezjuan Thompson

Trezjuan Thompson, 26, of 64 Oxford St. was charged with arson. He denied being in Auburn at 12:35 a.m. Tuesday when a fire was reported at 48 Academy St.

But his ex-girlfriend, Kristin Coolidge, told police she thought Thompson was the one who set the fire in her apartment while she was away, according to a sworn affidavit by Daniel Young, a senior investigator at the State Fire Marshal's Office in Augusta.

Thompson's current girlfriend, Lindsey Mercier, 21, of Lewiston told police she drove Thompson to a Cumberland Farms store Tuesday on Center Street where he bought a small gasoline container and pumped gas into it. He told her to drive to an area near High and Academy streets and wait in her car, a silver or gray Hyundai.

While she was parked in a private driveway, Thompson took off on foot with the gas container, she told police.

When he got back to her car a few minutes later, Thompson was running and breathless, she said. He didn't have the container.

A witness at the scene of the fire reported seeing a lone man dressed in a dark hooded coat running from the apartment building between houses across the street.

Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office said they used a dog, Shasta, to determine that a flammable liquid, such as gasoline, was poured in Coolidge's second-floor bedroom, kitchen, living room and doorway into the hallway. The dog later indicated a flammable liquid was on Thompson's sneaker, the same one he wore when he was with Mercier.

A clerk at the Cumberland Farms store told police that shortly before midnight on Monday, a black man came into the store and bought a red plastic gas container and filled it at the pumps. He also bought cigarettes and a cigar. A woman was in a waiting car and they drove off together with the gas container, the clerk said. She couldn't pick Thompson out of a photo lineup of six men. Investigators are seeking the store's surveillance tape and cash register receipt from that time.

Auburn police Detective Chad Syphers wrote in a sworn statement Tuesday that Coolidge's relationship with Thompson had been "extremely volatile" and that she had been assaulted by him, including one time when he put a 9 mm handgun inside her mouth and threatened to pull the trigger. He had pulled guns on her at other times and had threatened her life, she said.

Police went to the Big Apple store on Main Street where a man reported that Thompson had just threatened him with a gun. The officer later stopped Mercier's car in Lewiston. She and Thompson got out. Police arrested Thompson for violation of a protection order. Police found a 9 mm handgun in the trunk of the car. It wasn't loaded, but the clip was filled with rounds, Syphers wrote. Police believe Thompson reached behind him and put the gun in the trunk after being spotted by police and before he got out of the car.

Mercier said Thompson usually carried the gun in the waistband of his pants. She said she thought Thompson put something in the back seat as police were following her car.

Since 2006 in Maine, Thompson has been convicted of one charge of unlawful possession of scheduled drugs, for which he was fined $400 and spent 48 hours in jail; one charge of unlawful trafficking in scheduled drugs, fined $400; carrying a concealed weapon, fined $100; disorderly conduct and fighting; domestic violence criminal threatening, and sentenced to 45 days in jail. While in jail, Thompson was charged with two felony counts of trafficking in prison contraband, which were added to his disorderly conduct conviction.

Also since 2006, Thompson was convicted six times of violating conditions of his release, spending a total of 14 days in the county jail on two of those convictions.

Police charged him Wednesday with arson, a Class A felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. He also was charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person, a Class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Thompson appeared in 8th District Court in Lewiston Wednesday where a judge ordered him held on $25,000 cash bail. He was ordered to have no contact with any of the witnesses in the arson case and no possession of weapons, and is subject to random searches.

Auburn Police Chief Phil Crowell said he was disappointed that the judge lowered bail from $50,000 cash.

"This is someone that has, since his release, done nothing but stalk this woman," Crowell said. "This decision continues the fear this victim feels for her life."

No one was injured in the Academy Street fire Tuesday morning.

cwilliams@sunjournal.com

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.

Advertisement

Comments

 's picture

worldwiderick What a good

worldwiderick

What a good neighbor to have. Hope he can't make bail...

RONALD RIML's picture

Would someone please buy

Would someone please buy this guy a subscription to GQ.....
------------------------------------------
When I was a young Sailor - I drank like a Sailor, fought like a Sailor, and screwed like a Sailor. Now that I am old and wise - I have a few scars, but many fond memories.

 's picture

With the convictions this

With the convictions this guy has he needs more than jail, he also needs re-hab as well. Sending him to jail dosen't accomplish anything. If he's ordered to pay restitution he can't pay, because he's in jail. They need to find a way for people in jail to pay restitution to their victims. Be it working for the county or city during his jail time for minimum wage or whatever.

 's picture

Its obvious this guy isn't

Its obvious this guy isn't learning his lesson... should have put him away back in 2006 it seems..

 's picture

YES HERE WE GO, HE WILL GET

YES HERE WE GO, HE WILL GET OUT AND GO AFTER HER AGAIN, PLEASE , PLEASE , PUT THE PSYCHO AWAY, I KNOW HE HAS TREATENED COOLIDGE FOR A FACT, AND ALL HER FRIENDS TO, PLEASE, KEEP HIM AWAY FROM SOCIETY, HE IS A VERY SICK, AND DANGEROUS MAN, THAT NEEDS THE 35 YEAR SENTENCE OR MORE, PLEASE FROM A MOM THAT IS SCARED FOR ALL THE VICTIMS LIVES, KEEP HIM LOCKED UP, AGAIN HE IS COSTING THE CITY LOTS OF MONEY, AND LINDSEY YOU NEED TO WAKE UP SERIOUSLY, YOULL BE THE NEXT VICTIM

 's picture

Freakin PSYCHO! I'm glad

Freakin PSYCHO! I'm glad nobody was hurt in the fire, but when is the new girlfriend going to WAKE UP?!

GARY SAVARD's picture

Trezjuan sounds like a real

Trezjuan sounds like a real asset to the community. It's time to flush the toilet.

Advertisement

Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...