The owner of Red Roof Cafe in Helena has been charged for her alleged dealings with the man suspected of setting fire to her restaurant last year.
Maureen Therese Doubek, 58, of Helena, is charged with one count of felony conspiracy, or in the alternative, one count of felony accountability to arson, according to a complaint filed last month in Lewis and Clark County Justice Court.
On Oct. 20, 2018, the Red Roof Cafe on Helena's Westside burned under circumstances authorities deemed suspicious. Investigators from the Helena Police Department discovered a burned mattress and a water heater that had been tampered with, along with a number of easily flammable items set close to the heater that were covered with a blanket and a sleeping bag.
Brad Rae Richardson, 36, of Helena, was charged with felony conspiracy and felony arson in early July, according to another complaint filed in Lewis and Clark County Justice Court. That complaint accuses Richardson and Doubek of conspiring between Feb. 1 and Oct. 20, 2018.
You have free articles remaining.
According to Richardson's charging documents, a witness told investigators that Richardson had admitted to putting diesel fuel on a mattress and lighting it on fire in the restaurant so the owner could collect the insurance money. Another witness told authorities Richardson claimed Doubek had asked him to start the fire and to make sure nobody got hurt, the documents say.
The court documents say Doubek told investigators she and Richardson had met at a bar in July 2018 to discuss issues with the restaurant, and that Richardson offered to burn it down for $14,000. She told the officials that she declined the offer because she did not want to do anything illegal, and that Richardson said they could talk more when she was ready.
According to the court documents, Doubek told investigators she and Richardson continued to have "off and on" conversations about burning down the cafe for the next few months. She later told a federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent that she had joked about burning down the restaurant, and that she believed Richardson had set it on fire to help her.
Doubek also told the federal agent that before the fire, she believed she was going to have to cancel her insurance on the building because she was "beyond down and out." Court documents say she acknowledged sending her daughter a text message saying "Some Angel" had burned down the restaurant, but she told the agent she was just trying to be funny.