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Man gets stayed sentence for arson of family home in rural Clarkfield, Minn.

GRANITE FALLS — Aaron Dean Ohlson, 35, of Sioux Falls, S.D., and formerly of Clarkfield, was sentenced to 9 days in jail, a $500 fine and five years of probation on a third-degree arson charge for setting his own home on fire this summer.

As part of his sentence handed down by District Judge Dwayne Knutsen in Yellow Medicine County District Court, Ohlson was ord-ered to pay restitution as certified, follow the recommendations of his counselor, not use alcohol or drugs, not enter bars or liquor stores and ordered to complete a psychological evaluation and treatment.

The charge was reduced from first-degree level as part of a plea agreement reached earlier. Ohlson received a stay of adjudication on his sentence. Under the stay, no conviction will appear on his record if he complies with the conditions of probation.

The case was filed after July 9, when the Clarkfield Fire Department and Ambulance were called around 11:20 p.m. to a house fire along 240th Avenue in rural Clarkfield.

The responding deputy located Ohlson, who said it was his home that burned and that he had started the fire. Ohlson was questioned by the deputy and the fire chief and said that he had wanted the house to burn down since he was 12 years old.

The State Fire Marshal was called to investigate after firemen reported there were melted gas cans in the house and that the fire seemed suspicious.

The investigation revealed the kitchen cabinets were damaged, an axe was found on the kitchen floor and a room had been ransacked.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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