LEWISTON — The parents of a 12-year-old Lewiston boy accused of setting fire on April 29 to the Blake Street apartment building where they lived were nearly $6,700 behind in rent and were about to be evicted, according to Lewiston District Court records.

Jessica Reilly, the mother of Brody Covey, who is accused of starting the April 29 fire intentionally, had been served papers on April 26 on behalf of her boyfriend, Charles Epps, seeking to evict them from 109 Blake St., Apartment 1, the Portland attorney who filed the complaint against, David Sherman Jr., said on Monday.

The boy’s aunt, Ami Reilly, of Lewiston, said Monday at the courthouse that Brody is “not a bad kid” and would not start a fire for no reason, and that she believes “he was put up to it.”

Covey and another 12-year-old boy, who is accused of intentionally starting a separate fire last Friday that destroyed four more apartment buildings on Bartlett Street in crowded downtown Lewiston, made their first appearances in court since their arrests in a juvenile session that was held behind closed doors. The two cases are not believed to be related.

The Androscoggin District Attorney’s Office had said last week that although juvenile court proceedings are typically not open to the public, Monday’s session would be held in open court as required by state law because of the seriousness of the charges against them. Covey is charged with three counts of felony arson and the other boy, who was not identified, is charged with four counts.

Judge John Beliveau said, after opening the court briefly to the public, that the district attorney’s office had not yet filed a criminal petition with the courthouse against either boy.


“Under our code, it’s not open to the public until a formal petition is filed,” Beliveau said.

The judge said the district attorney’s office had filed only petitions for the boys to be detained. He scheduled both boys to return to court on May 13 to be arraigned in a hearing that will be open to the public.

Covey was identified last week by the District Court criminal clerks office. Authorities have declined to name the second boy after apparently releasing Covey’s name in error. Family members of the second boy also appeared in court Monday. They declined to comment, speaking through a Somali translator assigned to them by the court.

Ami Reilly said her nephew had been in her custody for a while until two years ago and that she raised him alongside her own children before he returned to the custody of his own mother and his mother’s boyfriend.

“He’s a really good kid. He was really quiet,” Ami Reilly said. “He never had any problem.”

Ami Reilly said that her sister’s children include Brody and another son from a previous relationship and two daughters with Epps, a 14-month-old and a 1-month-old. She said the father of the boys lives in Oklahoma.

Jessica Reilly declined to speak about the case against her son.

Epps addressed the media outside the court, saying, “We’re all grown men, and I think we’ve all heard what they say about assuming.”

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