Deer River woman pleads guilty to Ball Club homicide and arson

A Deer River woman pleaded guilty to murder and arson Monday in Itasca County.

According to a release from Attorney Matti Adam, 42-year-old Crystal Wilson was initially charged with intentional murder in the second-degree and first-degree arson.

Wilson faces up to just over 37 years in prison for the crime in Ball Club last July.

The original complaint stated that Wilson, while under the influence of methamphetamine and alcohol, stabbed the male victim and lit the camper on fire, telling investigators she thought she was “burning a witch.”

During the plea hearing, Adam argued for consecutive sentences for both offenses, while the defense requested the court to find mitigating factors and order a reduced sentence.

Wilson’s sentencing hearing is scheduled in January.

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 all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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