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Mother accused of burning trailer to scare son into moving out

BEMIDJI - A Bemidji mother is accused of going to extreme lengths to get her son to move out of her home -- by setting her trailer on fire.

Mary June Klasen, 57, confessed to starting two fires April 30 at the Roosevelt Manor Mobile Home Park, authorities said. She was arrested on a charge of first-degree arson after a Beltrami County sheriff's deputy responded.

A pile of pine needles was found burning near Klasen's mobile home, according to court documents. A deputy extinguished the flames and saw the remnants of another fire in an entryway.

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

Klasen was being held in the Beltrami County Jail, with her next court appearance set for Monday. She could face 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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