AUGUSTA — Less than 24 hours after a fire destroyed the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop on June 3, 2009, Raymond Bellavance was worried he would be a suspect, a witness testified Tuesday.

 

Amy Perri, formerly of Augusta and now of Bristol, Conn., said Bellavance came to her home and specifically requested that she recall events from the previous evening.

 

Perri testified that late on June 2, 2009, after putting her two children to bed – a process that normally lasted from 10 p.m. to 11 or 11:30 p.m. – she had driven Bellavance home to his daughter’s residence.

 

Bellavance, 50, of Winthrop, is on trial charged with two counts of arson for the fire which occurred around 1 a.m. June 3, 2009, in Vassalboro.

 

The trial in Kennebec County Superior Court is in its seventh day, and Perri’s testimony directly contradicts that of Thomas Mulkern.

 

Mulkern said his then-girlfriend drove both him and Bellavance and two gasoline containers to the coffee shop on Route 3. Mulkern said Bellavance lit the can on fire and the two men fled on foot through dense woods.

 

Another witness who testified Tuesday said Bellavance was in a downtown Augusta bar until 12:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. The fire was reported just before 1 a.m.

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