The trial in Houlton of a man charged with killing a couple before setting fire to their home in northern Maine has been delayed.


Jury selection was due to start Monday in the trial of 35-year-old Matthew Davis but it has been pushed back indefinitely. Assistant Attorney General Leanne Zainea said Davis has hired a new lawyer, and that figured into the delay.

Davis is accused of shooting 51-year-old Michael Kitchen and 49-year-old Heidi Pratt in their bedroom, setting the house afire and then fleeing.

The killings happened in September 2013. He's charged with two counts of murder, along with arson, theft and aggravated criminal mischief.

An autopsy conducted at the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta determined Kitchen died from multiple gunshot wounds and Pratt from a gunshot wound to the neck. Police said the wounds were inflicted by a semi-automatic rifle purchased by Davis. Davis never reported the gun stolen, investigators said, and it was found lying across Kitchen’s body in the burned remnants of the home.

Police believe the crimes started earlier that morning at Katahdin Forest Products in Oakfield, where a flatbed wrecker truck registered to Davis had been backed into the building, and the truck and office had caught fire. Police said video surveillance from that site shows the same white company truck that was found burning at the Kitchen home leaving the scene. Following a manhunt, police found Davis in a stolen vehicle in Island Falls and arrested him.

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