Bemidji man pleads guilty to Arson

BEMIDJI– A Bemidji man is expected to be sentenced next week on an arson charge.

According to the court documents, 38-year-old Brian Andy Simon initially pleaded not guilty to first degree arson last October, but amended his plea to guilty last Friday.

The criminal complaint states that an investigation into a mobile fire last August on Island View Drive prompted investigators to look into Simon, who apparently used an ATV to leave the scene, and video surveillance appeared to have captured Simon leaving the scene around the time of the fire.

Brian Andy Simon, 38, Bemidji. Photo courtesy of the Beltrami County Jail.

Simon’s phone was seized as part of the investigation and he was subsequently charged with six counts of possessing child pornography.

A hearing on the pornography charge is also expected next week.

Simon has been in custody since September 2018.

Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers events and issues in north central Minnesota, which include local government, crime, courts, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University and received her degree in 2018. Larissa, native to the great state of New York, grew up in Bemidji, and enjoys spending her spare time with her family and pet cat. She also loves Star Trek, punk rock music and the theater.

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