Topless Coffee Shop Arsonist Appealing His Conviction

Updated 2 years ago

The man sentenced to 30 years in prison for setting fire to a topless coffee shop in Vassalboro is appealing his conviction to Maine’s highest court. The Supreme Judicial Court is scheduled to hear Raymond Bellavance Jr.’s appeal for a new trial next month. Bellavance’s lawyer bases the request on what he calls errors, including denial of a fair trial and violation of due process rights. The Kennebec Journal, reports that prosecutors say there is nothing to support the contention the trial was unfair. The 51-year-old Bellavance was convicted in December 2011 of arson for burning down The Grand View Coffee Shop. Prosecutors say he was angry because his girlfriend, a waitress, was dating the owner. Seven people were sleeping inside when the fire started in June 2009, but escaped unharmed.


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