PARIS — Four people were indicted by the Oxford County grand jury Friday on arson charges relating to three incidents.
Troy Murch, 23, now of Harrison, is accused of setting his Norway home on fire Nov. 6, according to Dan Young, an investigator for the State Fire Marshal's Office.
Murch got into an argument with his live-in girlfriend in Norway, Young said. As his girlfriend left, he allegedly told her he was going to burn down his house. She called Norway police and told them about Murch's threat.
With Norway police busy on another call, a Paris police officer responded and caught Murch leaving the home. Murch admitted to the officer that he'd set his house on fire, Young said. Young said Norway police officer Ron Cole assisted in the investigation.
Murch allegedly poured gasoline on the first floor and ignited it. The Norway Fire Department contained the fire and Norway Fire Chief Dennis Yates told the Sun Journal at the time that one firefighter suffered heat exhaustion.
The fire caused $50,000 to Murch's home on Ralph Richardson Road.
Steven Roberts, 47, of Milton was charged with burning down his girlfriend's home in November. On Oct. 22, he allegedly assaulted her and was charged with domestic violence assault, domestic violence terrorizing and criminal threatening with a weapon in that incident.
“He left some messages on her phone saying he was going to burn her house down and kill her cat,” Young said. The victim went to Maine State Police Trooper Paul Casey. When she was away from home, Young said, Roberts went to the house and set it on fire.
Roberts was arrested after the fire for the assault and threatening charges, and while in custody admitted to Young that he set the fire. The cat was not harmed, Young said. He said Casey and Maine State Police Trooper Kyle Tilsley assisted in the case.
JoAnn Farris, 63, of Albany Township, and her daughter, Lisa Thurston, 37, of Gilead are accused of burning several buildings belonging to George Sprague of Albany Township on Aug. 21. Young said Sprague had lived with the women and was providing some financial support to them but moved out.
He said the women were angry with Sprague for moving out and refusing to return.
According to Young, Farris convinced Thurston to set the fire. He said Farris first drove to pick up kerosene, then brought her daughter to the scene where Thurston poured it on the buildings and lit the flames. A dog trained to detect ignitable liquids sniffed out the kerosene.
Two log cabins, a maintenance building and two storage buildings were destroyed.
Young said both women were interviewed and admitted to being involved in the fire. He said that because of Farris' health problems, they were given summonses rather than arrested.
Arson is a Class A crime. All four suspects face up to 40 years in jail and a $50,000 fine if convicted.