ALFRED, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Derek Poulin walked into Alfred Superior Court Tuesday wearing shackles on his wrists and ankles and a blank look on his face. The 23 year old man has been charged with murder and arson following a police investigation to determine what happened to his 61 year old grandmother Patricia Noel.
Fire fighters were called to 44 Wesley Avenue in Old Orchard Beach in the early afternoon of October 23rd. According to a police affidavit, fire crews had to force their way into the home to battle the fire and found Noel lying dead on the floor of her bedroom.
Investigators from the State Fire Marshal's Office were caled in to look into what sparked the blaze and claimed the woman's life.
An initial examination of Noel's body by the State Medical Examiner's Office found the woman had been dead before the fire broke out, and according to the report, later determined she died from "multiple blunt impact injuries to the head, various skull fractures and multiple stab wounds."
State Police Detectives interviewed Derek Poulin, who lived with his grandmother and father, Reginal Poulin, in the small two story home. According to the affidavit, Derek Poulin reported there had been a history of domestic violence between all three people living in the home, and that his grandmother had slapped him on the face after a recent arguement.
Detectives seized Derek Poulin's car and the clothes he had been wearing on the day of the fire as evidence, and later found blood on his boots and a book of matches in his car that had several matches missing.
Fire investigators determined two fires had been set in the home which ruled out any potential for the fire to have been started accidentaly.
On October 27th, police officers arrested Derek Poulin outside his mother's home and chraged him with killing his grandmother and setting fire to her home.
Poulin's defense lawyer, Robert LeBrasseur, says the evidence contained in the affidavit is merely conclusory and contains no supporting facts. He added that members of Poulin's family feel that some of the information contained in the affidavit is inaccurate and that the support Derek.
"He's heartbroken. He's lost his grandmother, and now he is being accused of engaging in this conduct, and it has really torn him up," stated LeBrasseur. "He is really confused about the process. He has absolutely no criminal history. He has never been incarcerated before this. This is his first time being involved in the criminal justice system."
"His family is standing behind him," he added. "His father, who lost his mother, and is now in the process of losing contact with his son, is behind his son. Supports him 100% and does not feel that these charges have any basis in fact."