PARIS — Bail was set at $1,000 cash, $5,000 surety or $250 cash with supervised release Friday for a Porter man accused of domestic violence assault and threatening to light the victim’s house on fire.

Peter MacQuarrie, 42, was charged with felony arson, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and $50,000 in fines. He also was charged with domestic violence assault and unlawful possession of a scheduled drug, which each carry maximum sentences of 364 days in jail and $2,000 in fines.

Assistant District Attorney Alexandra Winter said that the state was seeking $50,000 cash or $100,000 surety for MacQuarrie’s bail, but Sarah Glynn, serving as MacQuarrie’s attorney, argued that Maine State Trooper Brian Hink’s arrest report did “not support probable cause on the arson charge.”

According to Hink’s arrest report, he received a phone call on the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 6, with a report that the victim had been “thrown around” by MacQuarrie and had “lit the house on fire.”

Hink wrote that he made contact with MacQuarrie at his house, who said he did not have any weapons but “had had one or two beers.”

MacQuarrie said that he and the victim had been “fighting for months” and that the victim was “always ‘poking the bear.’”

Hink wrote that he smelled “the odor of gasoline coming from inside the house” upon a search of the residence.

MacQuarrie later admitted to Hink that he was “trying to and going to burn down the house.”

Hink later made contact with the victim, who said that MacQuarrie “flipped out” after she approached him about using drugs.

She told Hink that MacQuarrie pulled her outside, said he was going to burn down the house and went back inside with a container of gasoline.

The victim told Hink that she left the house and called the police.

Glynn told Judge Richard Mulhern that Hink’s arrest report does not provide evidence that a fire was lit.

Mulhern looked up the definition of arson, as detailed by Maine’s criminal code, and found that a person is guilty of arson “if he starts, causes or maintains a fire or explosion.”

He told Winter that based on Maine’s definition of arson, and Hink’s arrest report, he couldn’t find sufficient evidence supporting probable cause on the arson charge, but added that the “charge was still pending,” and if the arresting officer can provide evidence that a fire was lit, he would address it later.

Other bail conditions for MacQuarrie included no use or possession of alcohol or illegal drugs, no contact with the victim, and no use of any open flame devices except at his job.

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Peter MacQuarrie 

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