LEWISTON — The 14-year-old charged with arson in connection with four apartment building fires last year will be moved from a residential care facility to a detention center.

During a closed hearing in 8th District Court on Monday, Judge John Beliveau ordered Abdi Ibrahim of Lewiston to be moved from the residential facility in Southern Maine where he has been staying to an unnamed juvenile detention center.

Ibrahim had been seeking release to the custody of his parents.

But according to Ibrahim’s attorney Jeffrey Dolley, after testimony was offered by witnesses to the arson and others, Beliveau raised concern about the safety of the community and of Ibrahim’s own personal safety should the teen be released to his parents’ care.

The parents, Yussuf Ali and Marian Ibrahim, attended the half-hour closed-door hearing along with an interpreter and a number of friends and family. Afterward, they appeared upset by the ruling and had a lot of questions for Dolley about how the case would now proceed.

Early this year, based on a psychiatric evaluation, Ibrahim had been ruled not competent to stand trial and was ordered to undergo a second evaluation. That work was done in March, and last week Judge Rick Lawrence ruled Ibrahim was now competent to stand trial, prompting Monday’s hearing to move him from residential care.

According to Dolley, once Ibrahim is moved to a detention center, he will continue to receive mental health treatment and will attend classes to continue his schoolwork.

The next step in this case is for Dolley and Assistant District Attorney Melanie Portas to schedule a pretrial conference with the judge to map the work that has to be done before trial. That conference is not yet scheduled.

When Ibrahim was ruled incompetent for trial, the case was suspended. But after last week’s ruling of competency, the suspension was lifted. As a result, a motion that Dolley had filed prior to the suspension to suppress his client’s confession will now move forward.

Ibrahim is facing four counts of arson stemming from fires that burned four apartment buildings and a garage on Bartlett and Pierce streets on May 3, 2013. He was 12 years old at the time.

After initially denying he was involved, Ibrahim later told police he started the fire by lighting a cigarette and paper with a lighter, using gasoline as an accelerant. He made this admission with his mother in the interview room and an interpreter assisting by phone. He waived his Miranda rights, including his right to remain silent.

Dolley intends to argue that Ibrahim’s statements were not made voluntarily as police assert, and that his Miranda warning was not provided in a way that Ibrahim was able to understand during the police interview.

After Ibrahim spoke with police, two other boys were interviewed and admitted going to the garage on Bartlett Street with Ibrahim, but waited outside or just inside the garage door while Ibrahim went behind the building. One of the boys said he could see Ibrahim with smoke coming out of his mouth and from his hand, and about a half-hour later the boys left.

The fire was reported soon afterward. It destroyed the garage and four nearby apartment buildings, displacing about 100 people.

The fire was the second of a weeklong string of three arson fires in downtown Lewiston last year.

The case against the juvenile charged in the first fires has been dismissed after the court ruled he had not been read his Miranda rights while in custody. Those fires destroyed three apartment buildings on Blake, Bates and Pine streets.

In the third set of arsons, the case against Bryan Wood of Lewiston has been dismissed after he was found incompetent to stand trial. Brian Morin, 30, has pleaded guilty to three counts of arson and has been sentenced to serve 25 years in prison with all but five years suspended. He will serve 12 years of probation once freed.

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