A Minnesota man who claimed he was fulfilling a promise to wife to let her die at home instead of a nursing home has been sentenced.
Duane Johnson, 58, was initially charged with third-degree murder in connection with the death of his wife, Debra Lynn Johnson, 69, who passed away in their Brown County home in January. The charges came after autopsy results determined Debra passed away from methamphetamine overdose.
Earlier this week, Johnson pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of criminal neglect, according to CBS Minnesota, after his defense lawyers negotiated a plea deal on his behalf. In turn, Johnson was sentenced to three years behind bars. He’ll likely spend only 19 months in jail and the rest on probation and will get credit for the 201 days he served after his arrest.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, authorities were dispatched to Johnson’s home after he called 911 on January 24. Upon arrival, officers noticed Johnson running outside naked. “Death Parde God Hell” was spray-painted in red on the front screen door of the house. Johnson screamed to police that his wife was dead before running back inside the home.
As the officers entered the home, they found Debra deceased and wrapped in a grey sheet at the top of narrow stairs, with her feet clasped together with a belt. Authorities then found Johnson in a bathtub scrubbing his body. He claimed he was trying to scrub black and white “things” off.
Johnson later told police he thought his wife died earlier that morning but waited a while to call 911, to ensure she was truly dead.
When questioned, Johnson explained that he promised his wife she wouldn’t have to die in a nursing home. Against medical advice, he took her out of a transitional care center and brought her back home. Elizabeth had suffered two previous heart attacks and had high blood pressure and uncontrolled diabetes.
Johnson said threw his wife a “death party” that lasted for days, because he couldn’t stand to see her suffering in pain anymore. He told detectives that they “rocked out” to metal band Quiet Riot and took meth. He also admitted his wife stopped taking her prescribed medications.
Johnson said he had sex with his wife a few hours before she died, then held her so she couldn’t hurt herself after she started having convulsions. He then admitted had around 47 guns in his home, and that most of them were stolen property. Authorities found two shotguns and four rifles inside the home, along with loads of ammunition.
“I’m an idiot, I’m a moron,” Johnson told police, according to an arrest affidavit.
“I don’t need. . .I can’t lie because I’m too stupid to plan ahead and lie.”
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[Feature Photo: Duane Johnson/Police Handout]