AUGUSTA — A county grand jury has handed down an 11-count indictment against a Bass Harbor man who destroyed a Riverside Drive home when he allegedly drove a stolen pickup truck into the guest bedroom in May.

Jacob Russell, 26, of the Hancock County town of Tremont, faces charges in the indictment of arson, aggravated criminal mischief, leaving the scene of an accident, operating after suspension and driving to endanger. Russell also is charged with three counts of theft by unauthorized taking and three counts of burglary of a motor vehicle.

An indictment is not a determination of guilt, but it is an indication that sufficient evidence is present to proceed with formal charges and a trial in superior court.

Linda and Ken Ward were in bed around 6 a.m. May 22 when a large crash shook the home the couple had owned for 21 years. The Wards said at the time that they looked over to see a pickup truck sticking out the side of the guest bedroom.

The pickup Russell was allegedly driving fell into the home’s basement and burst into the flames.

Fire quickly spread to the rest of the house, destroying the home an attached garage.

Nobody was injured in the crash, but the Wards’ 14-year-old Himalayan cat, Cocoa, was killed in the fire.

Police believe Russell fled on foot and stole another vehicle from Raven Road, a short distance away. Pittsfield police stopped Russell driving the second stolen vehicle.

The indictment alleges that Russell broke into a third vehicle May 22 and stole a sweatshirt.

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