SEARLES, Minn. (WCCO/AP) — A Minnesota man accused of removing his ailing wife from a care center, taking her home and holding what he described as a “death party” before she died has been now been charged with murder.

Fifty-eight-year-old Duane Johnson had been charged with criminal neglect and receiving stolen property, both felonies, in the January death of his wife, Debra Lynn Johnson, at their home in Searles.

Brown County prosecutors have now added a third-degree murder charge.

A Minnesota man who allegedly gave his ailing wife methamphetamine and held a “death party” before she died faces criminal charges, authorities said. (Credit: KEYC)

Prosecutors say Johnson told investigators he was fulfilling a promise to his wife that he would not let her die in a nursing home when he removed her from a transitional care facility against medical advice.

Authorities say Johnson told them he gave some methamphetamine to his wife because she wanted to party before her death. He allegedly told authorities that he did not assist in his wife’s death and that he only wanted her to be comfortable.

A criminal complaint says the 69-year-old woman — who has a medical history of cardiac arrest, high blood pressure and diabetes — died of a methamphetamine overdose.

After her death, Johnson allegedly wrapped her body in a bed sheet “as per the Old Testament.”

During a search of the residence, officers found multiple firearms, ammunition and prescription medication.

If convicted, Johnson faces up to 25 years in prison for the murder charge, and up to 30 years for the other two felony charges.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (8)
  1. Stan Lister says:

    why is his head on backwards?

  2. Joe Speldrich says:

    If Duane took his wife against her will and, or, forced her to take those pills, then I could see this to be a crime. The only thing I feel Duane has for a crime is receiving stolen property. What would you want, live in misery or die being happy? Duane was a good friend to his wife. My hats off to him.

  3. Rick Wagner says:

    What does finding guns, ammo and prescription drugs have to do with anything? I have all of that here – in quantities that would make your snowflake butt hurt. But its not news.

    1. Duh, it shows that if he wanted to murder his wife, he had plenty of ways to do it. I guess if the word “guns” comes up, you go right on the defensive. Talk about a snowflake! Not surprised you have all that in your home, clearly you are afraid of everything.

  4. I’ll bet Duane was a real happy-go-lucky party dude. If I am stuck in one of them ishy rest home waiting to die please have Duane come and get me.