AP NEWS

Witness: Defendant argued with victims before fiery deaths

March 28, 2019

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A man being tried on murder charges argued with one of the two victims before their deaths in the back of a burning delivery truck where they’d been sleeping, a witness testified.

Harry Seavey, of Bangor, testified Wednesday at the trial of John De St. Croix that he joined the group of homeless people drinking but decided to leave because of the arguing. He said De St. Croix said something to the effect of, “I’ll take care of the problem.”

De St. Croix, who police say dialed 911 and later confessed, is accused of setting the box truck afire while Michael Bridges, 43, and Desiree York, 36, were asleep inside.

The blaze a year ago was so hot that no one was able to rescue the victims, who were heard pounding on the walls in a frantic attempt to get escape.

Seavey was part of the homeless community in Bangor. Several others also testified that they were part of a group that had been drinking underneath a bridge, but that no one saw the fire being set.

Investigators say the fire was started with accelerant and cardboard.

Bridges and York died of smoke inhalation and suffered burns, said Dr. Lisa Funte, Maine’s deputy medical examiner, who performed the autopsies. York’s blood alcohol level was 0.35 percent and Bridges’ was 0.29 percent, far above the 0.08 percent limit for driving, she said.