BANGOR — A Bangor transient convicted of locking two homeless people inside a van parked underneath the Penobscot Bridge and setting it on fire two years ago is asking for a new trial claiming that one of the jurors had knowledge of the crime.
John De St. Croix, 27, is currently serving a life sentence for the March 2018 deaths of 36-year-old Desiree York and 43-year-old Michael Bridges.
Last year a jury found him guilty of two counts of knowing or intentional murder, two counts of felony murder and one count of arson.
Attorneys Jeremy Pratt and Ellen Simmons will argue before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court on Wednesday that one juror had seen social media posts about the deaths and that Justice Ann Murray should not have seated the person on the jury.
De St. Croix’s attorneys also plan to argue the judge should not have sentenced him to life behind bars.
Video surveillance images of De St. Croix walking away from the box truck fire were shown during his trial. He called 911 eight minutes later but it was too late.
Responding officers and firefighters couldn’t get near the van and the two victims died of smoke inhalation and second- and third-degree burns.
De St. Croix is now incarcerated at the Maine State Prison in Warren.