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Woman charged with arson confesses in court

BEMIDJI -- A Bemidji woman plead guilty to arson in Beltrami County Court Monday.

Mary June Klasen, 57, confessed to starting her mobile home on fire in an attempt to evict her son on April 30. She was arrested for felony first-degree arson.

Klasen stated in court Monday she has been trying to move her son out of the trailer for five years. She said when she told her son she planned on selling the mobile he “mumbled” he should just burn it down.

“I just went over there and did it,” Klasen said. “Started a little fire.”

Klasen faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

Klasen said she knew there was a back door which her son would be able to vacate the trailer and that the fire would catch his attention during questioning by assistant Beltrami County attorney Kristal Kadrie in court.

“I admit I’m guilty, I lit the match,” Klasen said.

Klasen is scheduled for pre-trial on June 25.

Crystal Dey
Crystal Dey covers crime, courts, tribal relations and social issues for The Bemidji Pioneer in Bemidji, Minnesota. Originally from Minnesota’s Iron Range, Dey has worked for the Echo Press in Alexandria, Minnesota, The Forum in Fargo, North Dakota, The Tampa Tribune in Tampa, Florida, the Hartford Courant in Hartford and West Hartford News in West Hartford, Connecticut. Dey studied Mass Communications at Minnesota State University Moorhead with an emphasis in Online Journalism. Follow Crystal Dey on Twitter @Crystal_Dey.
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