By Judy Harrison, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER - The sister of murder victim Mindy Gould pleaded not guilty Friday in Penobscot County Superior Court to arson.
Melanie Bragg, 39, of Dexter was indicted earlier this month with setting fire May 29 to the Dexter house where Gould and the boy she was baby-sitting were killed execution-style 41/2 years ago.
No trial date has been set.
Bragg was late for her arraignment Friday because she was stopped for speeding, according to her attorney, Randy Day of Garland.
The incident that apparently led to the fire at 136 Church St., the Dexter home Bragg shared with Alan LaFountain, began as a domestic dispute the day before the fire, according to court documents.
Bragg allegedly left the house in a taxi about 10 minutes before a neighbor reported the blaze.
The Dexter Fire Department extinguished it in an hour.
Bragg's 20-year-old sister and 21-month-old Treven Cunningham were slain there Dec. 3, 1999. Both victims were shot in the back of the head. Bragg discovered the bodies.
Jeffrey Cookson, 41, Mindy Gould's former boyfriend, is serving two consecutive life sentences at the Maine State Prison for the murders.
If convicted of arson, Bragg could face up to 40 years in prison.
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