Day 1 in the Trial of Raymond Bellavance 

Wednesday was day one in the trial of a man accused of burning down the Grandview Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro. ” It was clear from early on that this fire was started outside the building, obviously with the burning ground and the liquid,” said Assistant District Attorney, Alan Kelley.The state is trying to prove that 50-year-old Raymond Bellavance burned down the Grandview Topless Coffee Shop in Vassalboro in June 2009.In opening arguments, the state described Bellavance as a man who said what he meant and meant what he said.They believe Bellavance was angry his former girlfriend was working at the shop.They told jurors they would hear from his ex-wife, who heard him say “she won’t be working there long or only until he burns the place down.”But the defense is quick to point out that Bellavance is innocent until proven guilty.”As we look at the evidence and test it which is the importance of cross examination that will show a lot of items in evidence that the jury will not weigh very seriously,” said Bellavance’s attorney, Andrews Campbell.One of those items, a gas can left at the scene.But the defense says dna samples showed no trace of Bellavance.”There was an agreement in the opening by both sides that there was no evidence connecting my client to that gas can,” said Campbell.The two people who came upon the fire took the witness stand, neither saw the gas can, but say they didn’t examine the building in great detail. Both agree it was obvious the fire started outside.The trial is expected to last into next week.