AUGUSTA — Raymond Bellavance Jr. was attracted to Grand View Topless Coffee Shop waitress Krista MacIntyre because of the good sex he had with her, according to an arson investigator who interviewed Bellavance several months after a fire destroyed the shop.

But the relationship was rocky.

The investigator, Kenneth MacMaster, of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, testified Wednesday that Bellavance told him the couple’s relationship was on-and-off and that Bellavance broke up with MacIntyre around the time of the fire because she lied too much.

MacMaster said Bellavance described her as “the world’s biggest liar.”

Bellavance also made allegations about prostitution, an underground bar scene and drug activity taking place at the coffee shop on Route 3 in Vassalboro, MacMaster said.

Bellavance told MacMaster he wanted MacIntyre to quit the waitressing job and went to the coffee shop March 9, 2009, to try to get her fired. Prosecutors allege Bellavance was jealous and didn’t want MacIntyre working there.

Testimony before the jury in Kennebec County Superior Court Wednesday centered around Bellavance’s March 31, 2010, statements to MacMaster. It was the fifth day of Bellavance’s trial on two arson charges.

Trial will resume at 8:30 a.m. Friday after taking a one-day hiatus today. Justice Michaela Murphy told the eight women and six men on the jury late Wednesday that new information had arisen and that both the state and the defense needed a brief period to review it. She did not provide details.

“Please understand we are not going shopping,” Murphy said.

Once jurors left, defense attorneys arranged to listen to a digital tape Wednesday night and to have the contents transcribed.

Bellavance has been relatively busy at the defense table throughout the trial, locating paperwork and CDs for his attorney, Andrews Campbell, taking notes and consulting with Campbell, occasionally pointing out highlighted sections of paper and leaning over to suggest a question.

The power went off briefly in the morning Wednesday, and the judge gave jurors a shortened lunch period and had food brought in for them.

Most of Wednesday’s testimony came from MacMaster, the case’s primary investigator.

He said the fire that destroyed the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop June 3, 2009, started outside the rear of the former motel and was concentrated in the center of the building, which housed the restaurant. Seven people, including property owner Donald Crabtree, escaped without injury from the fire, which was reported just before 1 a.m.

MacMaster determined the fire was caused by “intentional human element — arson,” that damage was heaviest on the building’s exterior, indicating that’s where it started, and that gasoline was the accelerant.

He said he found a red plastic gas can from the scene and swabbed it for DNA evidence. Forensic scientists at the Maine State Crime Lab testified previously that Bellavance’s DNA wasn’t found on the gas can.

In response to questioning by Campbell, MacMaster said no tests were conducted on other items found near the fire scene: a lighter on the front lawn, a beer can behind the property and a black bandana from the front parking lot.

Troy Hallett, 43, formerly of Hallowell and now imprisoned on burglary and theft convictions, testified that Bellavance told him he used gloves to handle the gas can.

Both Campbell and Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley agreed that Hallett made no mention of gloves during a taped interview with MacMaster. “Ray told me about them, but I don’t know if I told the investigator about them,” Hallett said.

When Campbell offered Hallett a typed copy of that interview to refresh his memory, Hallett declined, saying, “I don’t read.”

Hallett said he talked to investigators about two other arson cases as well.

MacMaster said he interviewed people at the scene, including Crabtree.

He said the next day he met with Dean Drisko, who had called a tip line to say he heard Bellavance threaten a day earlier to burn the shop down because he was upset that MacIntyre worked there.

MacMaster first interviewed Bellavance on March 31, 2010, about nine months after the fire.

“Mr. Bellavance said he knew they were looking for him and said he had an alibi for the night of the fire and wanted us to check it out,” MacMaster testified.

The alibi, according to MacMaster, was that Bellavance spent time at the OTR Club in downtown Augusta, saw MacIntyre — whom he was supposed to be with that night — talking to Jason Lunt in a parking lot nearby, and then returned to the bar. MacMaster said Bellavance indicated he later got a ride from a friend on Boothby Street to his daughter Samantha Bellavance’s home on Deer Run Road, just off Route 3.

Lunt, of Oakland, testified Tuesday that he was a frequent coffee shop customer and friend of MacIntyre.

MacMaster said that when he was finished with the interview he had probable cause to arrest Bellavance on the arson charge, but wanted to check more.

MacMaster said that Bellavance denied setting the fire throughout the interview.

Charges were filed against Bellavance a few days later, but by then he had left the state. Bellavance was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Spartanburg, S.C., on May 9, 2010.

Defense attorney Campbell asked about cameras at the entrance to the trailer park where Bellevance’s daughter lived, but MacMaster said he checked and didn’t see any.

“He didn’t look too hard,” Raymond Bellavance said aloud in court.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

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