Minnesota man who threw his ailing wife a methamphetamine-fueled 'death party' sentenced to three years in prison

A Brown County District Court judge handed down the sentence after Duane Arden Johnson, 59, accepted a plea deal that saw him plead guilty to a felony count of criminal neglect.


                            Minnesota man who threw his ailing wife a methamphetamine-fueled 'death party' sentenced to three years in prison

NEW ULM, MINNESOTA: An Minnesota man who was charged with criminal neglect after his elderly wife died at their home following a methamphetamine-fueled "death party" has been sentenced to three years in prison.

We previously reported how Duane Arden Johnson, 59, was arrested on January 25 after he called 911 to report that his wife Debra Lynn Johnson, 69, had died at their home in Searles, a small town of 200 south of New Ulm.

When the first Brown County sheriff's deputy arrived at the scene, he found the words "Death Parde God Hell' written in red spray on the front door. Duane Johnson then came out naked, yelled that his wife was dead, and ran back inside to take a bath to wash all the "white and black things" from his skin, according to a court complaint.

Deputies found Debra Johnson's body wrapped in a sheet at the top of the stairs, where early rigor mortis had begun to set in her arms. 

When questioned, Duane Johnson said he believed that his wife had died at around 8:30 that morning but that he waited to make sure she was dead before calling 911. He said that, after she died, he washed her and wrapped her in linen "like the Bible told me to do."

He explained that his wife had been in a nursing home and that she had begged him to take her home to die. He said he obliged and that he and his wife went on to have a "death party" for the final days of her life that saw them take meth and "rocking out" to their favorite song: Quiet Riot's 'Metal Health.'

Duane Johnson told authorities that his wife had stopped taking her medication and was suffering from convulsions in the lead up to her death. He said she didn't let him call for help, so he held her to keep her from hurting herself. 

He also said he had sex with her less than two hours before she died, and that she had stopped convulsing and was more at peace after that. 

Investigators learned that Debra Johnson had a history of medical problems which included mental illnesses, for which she was on anti-psychotic medication, two heart attacks, diabetes, and high blood pressure and that Duane Johnson had removed her from a transitional care center against the medical advice of doctors at the facility.

Authorities also found four rifles and two shotguns in the house -- Duane Johnson had allegedly claimed he had 47 guns, many of which were stolen -- as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition of several varieties.  

After his arrest, Duane Johnson was charged with criminal neglect and felony counts of theft and receiving stolen property.

In exchange for the other charges being dropped, Duane Johnson pleaded guilty to a felony neglect charge this past June in Brown County District Court.

Judge Robert Docherty approved the sentence of three years in prison that was proposed in the plea deal and gave the 59-year-old credit for the 201 days he has already served in jail.

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