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Bemidji woman sentenced for attempted eviction by arson

BEMIDJI -- A woman who attempted to burn down her trailer house to evict her son was convicted of felony first-degree arson Monday.

Mary June Klasen, 57, of Bemidji was arrested for arson when she lit two fires at her mobile home at Roosevelt Manor Mobile Home Park on April 30. Klasen was sentenced to a stayed prison sentence of four years in the Minnesota Correctional Facility in Shakopee. Her sentence is stayed for 20 years while she is on supervised probation.

Klasen must serve 52 days local confinement in the Beltrami County Jail, of which she has been credited with 35 days served, and must pay a $1,000 fine.

According to court documents, Klasen told law enforcement she started the fires in an attempt to scare her son into moving out of her home because she was "fed up with her son living there and doing nothing to contribute."

During a June 2 plea hearing, Klasen amended her not guilty plea to guilty and admitted to committing the crime. "I admit I'm guilty, I lit the match," Klasen said.

Klasen was facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

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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