Guilty Plea in Southeast Minnesota Arson Case Prompted by Affair Suspicion
Austin, MN (KROC-AM News)- Prosecutors reached a plea agreement Monday with a Grand Meadow woman charged with arson after she suspected her husband was involved in an affair over the internet.
54-year-old Phyllis Gregerson was arraigned last November in Mower County Court on a first-degree arson charge and a felony count of terroristic threats and a misdemeanor domestic assault charge. Court documents accuse her of starting a fire at a rural property about three miles north of Grand Meadow that torched a shed containing a new John Deer tractor.
Gregorson’s husband told authorities she had started the fire, said she had been drinking and that she accused him of having an "online" affair with a woman. He also claimed she had threatened to burn down their house and kill him and herself, according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint says Gregorson told the deputy she had purchased the tractor for $32,000 to make her husband happy. She went on to say she then found out he was having an "internet affair" and the tractor "had to go." Gregorson stated she had been fixated on the tractor because, “you don’t get a girlfriend, and a John Deere tractor, and a wife to pay for it for your midlife crisis. You can have one of those and be forgiven, but you can’t have two and you definitely can’t have a wife paying for it.”
Mower County Court records indicate Gregerson has entered into a plea deal that calls for her admitting to the first-degree felony arson charge. In exchange the prosecution will drop the other charges in the case.
Gregorson is set to be sentenced in late July. A sentencing recommendation with the plea agreement is not available.