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Tara Andvik

Convicted arsonist Andvik writes ex-lover from jail

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region Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

MOORHEAD - Tara Andvik, a rural Barnesville woman convicted May 15 of setting several fires to her farmstead, is now the subject of a proposed court order to ban her from contacting witnesses who testified at her trial.

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Assistant Clay County Attorney Heidi Davies, who prosecuted the case, requested the no-contact order after Andvik sent a letter from jail to Keith Beam, her ex-lover and one of the people she fingered as a possible suspect in the arson fires.

The letter is dated May 17 - two days after a Clay County jury convicted the 34-year-old Andvik of three felony arson counts for setting fires to her and her husband's barn and home last October.

"I don't even know if you are reading this. I'm sure by now you've heard - and are probably rejoicing," the letter states. "Regardless, I want to tell you how truly sorry I am for everything. If you weren't the driving force behind any of this I owe you a major apology."

In her motion, Davies wrote that, based on the letter, "it is apparent that the defendant will continue to reach out to persons she may feel are responsible for convictions in the above entitled matter, and these witnesses may find it harassing or intimidating."

The no-contact order would apply not only to Beam but also to Jay and Tammi Gregory, owners of the hunting show "The Wild Outdoors" on the Outdoor Channel. Beam, who worked for the show, suggested Andvik and her husband to be contributors.

The order also would ban Andvik from contacting her ex-boyfriend, Jerren Ancira, who testified at trial that he agreed to do her a favor and mail three letters she had sent him in Auburn, Wyo., on April 3. The anonymous letters, which were mailed back to Andvik, her attorney and The Forum, were supposedly from a hit man hired by Beam to make Andvik disappear. The state alleged Andvik was angry about how Beam ended their affair, and that she set the fires and sent the letters to try to frame him.

In her letter to Beam, Andvik maintained she didn't start the fires. She referred to Beam and Jay Gregory as plotting against her - a claim both men denied at trial.

"Back in (September) Tammi was texting me tons of stuff about you (and) Jay being on the phone for hours plotting revenge on me - I've still got all of that," the letter states.

The letter concluded: "If I don't hear from you - I wish you nothing but the best, happiest, most fulfilling life possible. Cherish every moment."

Judge Michael Kirk has given the state until today to provide legal authority to support the no-contact order. Andvik's lawyer has until June 6 to respond.

Andvik's sentencing is set for June 28. She has declined The Forum's request for a jail interview.

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