Man accused of arson to be held without bail until trial

Nov 4, 2021

Michael Muise, the man accused of attempting to set a home on Onset Ave. on fire on Oct. 25, will be held without bail before his trial.

Judge Shelby Smith granted the prosecutor’s motion for Muise to be held without bail at a Nov. 4 dangerousness hearing held in Wareham District Court.

Muise pleaded not guilty to all charges: arson, breaking and entering, and four counts of attempted murder.

The prosecutor laid out the state’s version of the events:

Muise allegedly got into the home by pushing the air conditioner through the window of the victim, with whom he has a young child. He set the bed on fire. 

It is unclear what method he used to set the fire, but according to police reports, Muise had exited the home and was on the sidewalk when the victim’s mother heard a “pop” and began to see smoke and flames in the room.

The victim’s mother, who was home at the time with three other family members, used a garden hose to attempt to suppress the flames until the fire department arrived. 

The victim had obtained a restraining order against Muise that morning after he threatened to kill her. She lived in the home with her child, along with three other family members. While she was not home at the time, her young child was. 

The prosecutor argued that the case was clearly an incidence of domestic violence, and said that there were no conditions the state could put on Muise if released that would keep the victim and her family safe. 

Muise has no past convictions, but has some dismissed cases and prior restraining orders on his record.

Muise’s defense attorney, Ryan Matthews, argued that the case was not domestic violence. He said that because Muise had no prior convictions, releasing him on bail with a restraining order, GPS monitoring, and a probation officer would be sufficient. 

He also said that Muise had never spent time in custody before, and noted that he would likely spend at least four months in custody before trial if bail was not allowed.

Matthews also argued that the state had overcharged Muise. Given the actual damage to the house, he said, he thought the charges would be lowered to malicious destruction of property.

Per the judge’s order, Muise will remain in custody without bail until trial. 

This story has been updated to clarify several details.