BELFAST, Maine — A midcoast man accused of killing the family cat and later setting his parents’ barn on fire in Brooks was indicted last week by the Waldo County grand jury.
Andrew Sousa, 32, faces arson and animal cruelty charges after a November 2016 crime spree, according to documents filed in Waldo County District Court.
On Nov. 8, Sousa allegedly used a knife to kill the family cat because he was “trying to cleanse the house of evil.”
Sousa was taken to Acadia Hospital for psychiatric treatment and released two days later, according to the court affidavit. He went to Searsport to stay with a friend.
On Nov. 12, the three-story wooden barn at Sousa’s family’s home on Arsenault Road in Brooks was leveled by a fire. Stewart Jacobs of the state fire marshal’s office inspected the barn but could not find enough evidence to determine how the blaze started because of the extent of the damage.
During the phone call to 911, Sousa’s mother told the dispatcher that she thought she saw her son around the barn and that he may have started the fire, according to the affidavit.
Jacobs said that Sousa apparently walked from his friend’s house in Searsport to Brooks that day.
After the fire, Sousa again was taken to Acadia Hospital, but he escaped the facility on Nov. 15.
Hospital officials called Bangor police for help in the search, warning officers that Sousa was “delusional” and possibly dangerous.
Sousa was arrested on Nov. 17, and Sousa told the arresting officer he set the fire, according to the affidavit.
Sousa is scheduled to be arraigned in Belfast on Friday.
Also indicted last week in Waldo County was Paul S. Andrews, 33, of Jackson. He is accused of sexually assaulting a girl under the age of 12 repeatedly over the course of 2015 and 2016, and he faces 14 charges of gross sexual assault.
Maine State Police arrested Andrews on Dec. 27.
The grand jury also indicted Neil A. Lagasse, 19, of Northport for aggravated assault and assault on a child less than 6 years old and James Kuhn, 30, of Troy for criminal use of explosives, reckless conduct and endangering the welfare of a child.
Police arrested Lagasse on Dec. 23 after he brought his 11-week-old daughter to the emergency room with broken bones and other serious injuries. He reportedly told police that he stuck a finger down the girl’s throat in an effort to get her to stop crying and pulled her violently from a swing.
The infant has been released from the hospital.
Kuhn, who formerly spent a short time in jail for using a shock collar to discipline two of his children, was arrested again in late November after a fire marshal’s office investigation concluded Kuhn had been making explosives and setting them off near one of his sons. The boy near the explosions was not the same son who was forced to wear a shock collar.
Follow Nick McCrea on Twitter at @nmccrea213.