Originally created 08/05/98

Guilty plea for man who allegedly made Internet confession

FARGO, N.D. -- A man who police say confessed on the Internet to killing his daughter in a house fire has agreed to plead guilty to murder, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Larry Froistad Jr., 29, is scheduled to enter the guilty plea Friday, said Bowman County State's Attorney Steven Wild.

"It sounds like we've all reached a consensus on this," Wild said. "We've got a tentative agreement that he'll plead guilty to the original charge."

Froistad's attorney, Tom Secrest, confirmed Tuesday that a "deal is in the works," and a court hearing has been scheduled for Friday. But he declined to discuss the case further.

Meanwhile, federal prosecutors filed paperwork late Tuesday demanding Froistad's appearance in U.S. District Court in Bismarck.

In past court filings, an FBI agent said he found child pornography on Froistad's computer. Possessing or transmitting sexually explicit images of children is a federal crime.

Froistad was arrested in March at his San Diego apartment after allegedly posting several messages on an Internet group in which he confessed to intentionally setting a 1995 house fire in Bowman that killed his 5-year-old daughter, Amanda.

Fellow members of the group turned in Froistad, a computer programmer.

According to court documents, investigators who seized Froistad's computer also found at least two Internet messages in which he claimed to have molested the girl as well.

One of the messages was posted in a chat room frequented by pedophiles, according to an affidavit from an FBI agent.


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