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Minnesota man who held death party pleads guilty to criminal neglect

Johnson told authorities he held a "death party" for his wife after she begged him to take her home from a nursing home to die.

Posted: Jun 25, 2019 7:20 AM

NEW ULM, Minn. (AP) — A southwestern Minnesota man who said he threw a "death party" for his wife and gave her methamphetamine has pleaded guilty to criminal neglect.

Fifty-nine-year-old Duane Johnson entered the plea Monday in Brown County Circuit Court. The Free Press says a third-degree murder charge will be dismissed as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

Johnson told authorities he held a "death party" for his wife after she begged him to take her home from a nursing home to die. Sixty-nine-year-old Debra Johnson was found dead in their home last January. An autopsy showed she died of methamphetamine toxicity.

Prosecutors say the plea deal calls for a three-year prison sentence. Sentencing guidelines call for a four-year term.

A judge will decide whether to approve the recommended sentence on Aug. 12.

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