Three Waldo County residents indicted on separate, unrelated arson charges

Fri, 04/02/2021 - 12:00pm

    BELFAST — Three Waldo County residents were indicted on separate, unrelated charges of arson by a Waldo County Grand Jury March 18, with each facing up to 30 years in prison if convicted. 

    The most serious of the cases is that of Derek Creasy, 38, of Unity, who in addition to being indicted for two counts of arson was also indicted for attempted murder. 

    Creasy is accused of attempting to set two separate fires, though one failed to take off. That arson attempt occurred when Creasy allegedly set fire to an occupied trailer Dec. 22, though the fire failed to “take off” according to a law enforcement affidavit. 

    The second fire was set Dec. 26, when Creasy allegedly returned to the property to set the home on fire a second time. During this attempt, the victim was in his vehicle watching the property, though he had fallen asleep and failed to witness the incident. 

    Both arson and attempted murder are Class A crimes, punishable by up to 30 years in prison and/or fines up to $50,000.

    In an unrelated case, Melissa Keller, 36, of Montville, was also indicted for arson, along with a other charges. 

    Keller is accused of setting fire “to her residence and the contents therein,” March 24, 2020, with the intention to collect insurance proceeds for losses incurred during the fire. Keller is also charged with attempted theft by insurance deception, forgery, two counts of negotiating a worthless instrument, and perjury in connection with the alleged arson. 

    Attempted theft by insurance deception is a class C crime, a charge brought after Keller submitted an insurance claim for damages, which “constituted a substantial step toward its commission,” according to her indictment.    

    Keller was also indicted on charges of unlawful drug trafficking and violating a condition of release in a separate case against her. 

    The third person indicted for an unrelated charge of arson is 59-year-old Douglas Knowlton, of Troy, who is accused of intentionally setting fire to his own vehicle in Troy March 24, 2020, before filing an insurance claim for damages. Knowlton allegedly attempted to withdraw the claim once made aware the claim had been flagged for further investigation. 

    Knowlton was indicted for arson and attempted theft by insurance deception.

    Erica Thoms can be reached at