Jun 22, 2016 9:32 AM

Officials: Accused Raymond arsonist tried to start another fire from jail

BRENTWOOD — An accused serial arsonist is facing three new charges alleging he tried to get a fellow inmate to start a fire at the home of his ex-girlfriend’s parents and spray paint a message on their driveway, according to The Union-Leader.

Gregory Bruno, 28, was indicted on two charges in connection to allegedly writing a jailhouse letter on April 11 to a former cellmate, James Banks, asking him to set the house ablaze. A third charge accuses Bruno of asking a family member that same day to destroy a letter that he wrote to him. The newspaper reports roughly 23 counts of arson, attempted arson and cruelty to animal charges will be levied against Bruno for fires set in Raymond, Epping and Stratham.

Bruno came under the scrutiny of Raymond police soon after his ex-girlfriend’s house was set on fire last Jan. 12, but maintained that someone else was setting the fires and that he was also a target of the arsonist, according to police affidavits.

He also allegedly set blazes at a Raymond self-storage facility on March 24, and a home in Epping four days later and a car parked outside of a Planet Fitness in Stratham. As fires were being set over the course of several weeks, Bruno’s ex-girlfriend and the police were receiving anonymous text messages, including one to police that read, “There will be more starting tonight until you catch me.”

A key to the self-storage unit was left inside the Epping home, leading investigators to believe Bruno had left it there to make it appear someone else was setting the fires, according to prosecutors.

The new indictments do not provide any details about the letter or what Bruno allegedly wanted Banks to paint on the driveway.

Banks, 21, spent roughly a year behind bars at the Rockingham County jail, but was released in March after pleading guilty to charges in connection to assaulting three women in Portsmouth. He was not charged in connection to the letters that were sent to him.

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