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Unity man accused of attempted murder and arson has ties to victim

By Fran Gonzalez | Jan 05, 2021
Courtesy of: State Fire Marshal's Office Ronald Turner's mobile home at 30 Turner Court in Unity, destroyed by fire Dec. 26.

Unity — The Unity man accused of trying to kill a resident by setting fire to his mobile home is the brother of a former love interest connected to the victim.

According to a police affidavit, 38-year-old Derek Creasy joked with his sister, Danielle Creasy, 34, about burning Ronald Turner’s house down.

Turner, 55, who lives on Turner Court, where a Dec. 26 fire destroyed his mobile home, told investigators he had only one enemy in the world — a woman he once lived with who became pregnant with someone else’s child.

The bad blood came to a boil when Turner learned Danielle had stolen more than $10,000 from his checking account, prompting him to file a complaint with the Waldo County Sheriff’s office around January 2020. According to court documents, Danielle agreed to a deferred disposition to pay him back.

Authorities arrested Derek Creasy Dec. 30 and charged him with attempted murder and two counts of arson. Bail was set at $50,000 because of the severity of the charges and the suspect's lengthy record, according to Assistant District Attorney Elizabeth Noble. Creasy's prior convictions include multiple burglaries and thefts. He was recently released from jail on his latest conviction. He is being held at the Knox County Jail.

According to a police affidavit, Turner’s sister and nephew discovered a single set of footprints leading to and exiting Turner’s driveway in the early morning hours of Dec. 22. Considering the tracks suspicious, Turner’s brother-in-law, Alan Moulton, went to investigate.

He said he observed a fire had been set at the right front corner of the home, which had self-extinguished, and that out of concern and because there were no smoke detectors in the home, he awoke Turner.

Police later discovered footprints appearing to have come from a cannabis shop owned by Jesse Nadeau across from Turner Court. Camera footage from Plant Life Science shows a vehicle arriving at 5 a.m. Dec. 22 and later leaving around 5:22 a.m. Both tire tracks and footprints were cast and photographed for evidence.

On Saturday, Dec. 26, emergency personnel responded to the same mobile home at 30 Turner Court, at approximately 6:34 p.m. This time, Turner was parked outside in his pickup truck at the rear of his mobile home, “keeping an eye out on (his) property,” but had fallen asleep. He awoke to heat on the back of his neck and the discovery that his trailer was on fire and three of his tires had been slashed.

In an interview with a Depot Store employee, police learned many people in town knew of Danielle Creasy's theft from Turner, and that it caused friction between the two. Police also discovered that Derek Creasy's girlfriend was a Depot Store employee. In reviewing security footage, police noted Creasy dropping her off and picking her up close to the times the fires were set.

Investigators executed a search warrant Dec. 30 at Derek Creasy's home on School Street. Items taken for evidence include a white cloth that is consistent with material found at the crime scene Dec. 22; a 1-1/4 inch buck knife; a cell phone; a DNA swab from Creasy and a Toyota Camry seized for tire tread analysis.

A third fire occurred Monday, Dec. 28, at Unity United Methodist Church on Depot Street. The church had been closed for services since spring, but according to the police affidavit, the building was used by the Boy Scouts, AA and other community groups.

A concrete block was used to break a rear basement window and a fire was set in the basement, according to court documents. The church fire is still under investigation.

Derek Creasy (Courtesy of: Knox County Jail)
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