AUGUSTA — A waitress at the former Grand View Topless Coffee Shop said Tuesday that the man accused of burning the business was not jealous of her relationships with other men, including the shop’s owner.

Krista MacIntyre, 31, of South Gardiner, testified that she and Raymond Bellavance, who is charged with two counts of arson, had a brief, exclusive relationship several years ago, but he knew she had been dating other people and they remained friends.

“He didn’t care who I hung out with,” MacIntyre said in response to questions from Bellavance’s defense attorney, Andrews Campbell.

MacIntyre also said she never heard Bellavance threaten to burn the coffee shop, even as other witnesses have testified hearing Bellavance make that threat so MacIntyre no longer could work there.

MacIntyre — with waist-length, wavy blonde hair, and dressed in black slacks, a dark striped shirt and white blouse — took the witness stand on the seventh day of Bellavance’s trial in Kennebec County Superior Court. It was the first day the defense called witnesses.

She told Campbell that Bellavance did not exhibit controlling behavior and never abused her. However, she did write an affidavit to get a restraining order against him, saying she felt pressured to do so by other waitresses. She said she didn’t follow through with it.

MacIntyre also said Bellavance allowed her to drive his 1992 Crown Victoria back and forth to work, and the two took Bellavance’s grandson overnight and then fishing and swimming.

Other men were more controlling, she said, citing another of her friends, Jason Lunt, who was a frequent customer at the coffee shop. “He told me not to tell we had sex because I would ruin his marriage,” MacIntyre said.

She called Bellavance and visited him at the jail — where he’s been held for almost 19 months awaiting trial on the arson charges — because they’re friends, she said.

“I don’t think he would do something like that,” MacIntyre said, a comment the judge ordered stricken from the record, following an objection from the prosecution.

MacIntyre said she worked at the coffee shop beginning Feb. 26, 2009, and estimated that about 40 waitresses had come and gone between that date and the fire on June 3, 2009. There were seven waitresses per shift and two shifts a day, she said.

“It was pretty interesting,” she testified. “We just served coffee and muffins and were paid $3.50 an hour, plus tips. The atmosphere was pretty friendly.”

Diners came from a wide area to the coffee shop, which was owned by Donald Crabtree.

“People came from Florida and New York, from all over the United States to have coffee,” she said.

MacIntyre also testified that both Bellavance’s wife, Tara Michaud Bellavance, and another of his girlfriends, Teena Savage, resented MacIntyre’s relationship with Raymond Bellavance. Crabtree has testified that he had sex with MacIntyre up to three times while she worked as a waitress at the coffee shop.

MacIntyre is scheduled to return today to answer questions from the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Alan Kelley. The judge told jurors to report by 8:30 a.m.

Murphy has told both attorneys the trial must end this week.

Campbell has said repeatedly he remains unsure about whether Bellavance will testify in his own defense.

Testimony contradicted

Another witness on Tuesday testified that less than 24 hours after a fire destroyed the Grand View Topless Coffee Shop, Bellavance was worried he would be a suspect.

Amy Perri, formerly of Augusta and now of Bristol, Conn., said Bellavance came to her home the night of June 3, 2009, 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 in a mobile home park off Route 3 in Augusta.

The fire was reported just before 1 a.m. June 3, 2009, in Vassalboro.

Perri’s testimony directly contradicts that of Thomas Mulkern, who testified last week. Mulkern said his then-girlfriend, Emma Wood, drove both him and Bellavance and two gasoline containers to the coffee shop.

Mulkern said Bellavance lit the gas can on fire and the two men fought briefly before fleeing on foot through dense woods and ending up waist-deep in a swamp as they made their way to Dam Pond Road.

Mulkern and Wood both received immunity from prosecution in exchange for their testimony.

John David Waterhouse, an investigator for the defense, testified that he went through those same woods on Thursday and found his way easily along tote roads and never got his hunting shoes wet.

At least two witnesses have refused to testify, telling Justice Michaela Murphy or attorneys she appoints for them that they will invoke their right to remain silent.

Another witness on Tuesday, Richard Hilliard, said Bellavance was in a downtown Augusta bar until 12:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. on June 3, 2009.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.