Accused arsonist goes berserk in courtroom

BRIDGEPORT – A Brookfield woman, accused of setting her mother’s Stratford home on fire, went berserk in the courtroom Wednesday threatening vengeance against one of the prosecutor’s witnesses and vowing she would be free after the judge ordered her held in lieu of $1 million bond.

“I’m getting out and I’m going to get that snitch,” Madeline Griffin screamed as she was led away by judicial marshals. “You better watch out snitch.”

Griffin is accused of setting fire to her mother’s Light Street home on May 28, 2011 to collect the insurance money.

During Wednesday’s hearing Senior Assistant State’s Attorney Howard Stein urged Superior Court Judge Robert Devlin to increase Griffin’s $250,000 bond because of three arrests subsequent to the one for the fire.

In June 2013, Griffin was arrested by Brookfield police and charged with interfering with police after police said she fought with officers. On Sept. 10, 2013 police said she called 911 and using a false name claimed her sister, who is a witness against her in the arson case, assaulted her. She was charged with falsely reporting an incident.

But Stein said the most troubling arrest involved Griffin allegedly forging juvenile court documents to falsely gain custody of a niece who police said she then enrolled in Brookfield High School. She is facing forgery and larceny charges in that case.

The Light Street home was heavily damaged by a fire. Police said an investigation determined that gasoline was poured throughout the house and ignited. According to police, inside the garage there, firefighters found the daughter’s car loaded with frozen food, two television sets, a digital camera, jewelry and four cellphones.

Daniel Tepfer