Man Gets 40 Years in Killing
DICKINSON, N.D. (AP) _ A man who confessed on the Internet to killing his daughter by setting their house on fire was sentenced to 40 years in prison Thursday by a judge who said the man broke the most basic law of nature.
``Living creatures ... protect their young,″ Southwest District Judge Maurice Hunke told Larry Froistad Jr. ``You chose to cause the death of the most vulnerable victim there could be _ a child, your child.″
Froistad pleaded guilty in August to killing his 5-year-old daughter, Amanda, in a 1995 house fire in Bowman. Under an agreement with prosecutors, Hunke suspended 10 years of Froistad’s sentence. He will be eligible for parole after 25 1/2 years.
Despite his earlier guilty plea, Froistad told the judge Thursday he did not kill his daughter and suggested his online confession was the result of a combination of drugs and depression.
``The only thing I guess I have to say is that I’m not innocent of everything, but I am innocent of murder,″ Froistad said through tears.
Prosecutor Steven Wild called Froistad a ``first-class manipulator.″
Police in San Diego arrested Froistad at his home there in March. Members of an on-line support group for problem drinkers tipped authorities that Froistad had posted a confession in their group about the fatal 1995 house fire in Bowman.
A short time after posting the confession, Froistad called both the San Diego police and the Bowman police chief and told similar stories, Wild said.
Investigators seized Froistad’s computer, and a search of it turned up at least one more confession sent by electronic mail to a support group member. In that e-mail, Froistad admitted killing his daughter and molesting her.
Investigators also discovered hundreds of images of child pornography in the computer and evidence that Froistad routinely visited Internet chat groups frequented by pedophiles.