Man sentenced for trying to burn his parents to death in Moorhead

Payam Naderipour

MOORHEAD — A 32-year-old man was sentenced Friday, March 1, to nearly 17 years behind bars on charges of trying to kill his parents by lighting them on fire on Christmas Day in 2016.

Clay County District Judge Michelle Lawson ordered Payam Naderipour, of West Fargo, to spend 16 years and eight months in prison on two felony counts of first-degree attempted murder.

A jury found Naderipour guilty on both counts in January. Two counts of first-degree attempted assault were dismissed.

Naderipour’s mother, who lives in California, informed the prosecution she planned to attend the sentencing but wasn’t present at Monday’s hearing.

During the hearing, prosecutor Pamela Foss said the mother indicated Naderipour shouldn’t go to prison and needed mental health treatment.


On Dec. 25, 2016, police responded to a disturbance at a Moorhead apartment where a man and woman said their son, Naderipour, poured gasoline on them and indicated he was going to set them on fire, according to the original charging documents.

Naderipour, who left the apartment Dec. 25, turned himself in a day later and told authorities he poured gas on himself and his parents, and had a lighter in his hands, the documents stated.

Naderipour said at Monday’s hearing — and at the January jury trial, where he represented himself — that he was only trying to kill himself.

Provided the chance to speak before the sentence was given, Naderipour maintained his innocence during a long and at times rambling speech in which he said he did “nothing wrong” and that there was more to the case.

He also said he was at peace due to his religious inclinations.

“No matter where you guys send me, I love my life,” Naderipour said. “I found God.”

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