Husband charged with murder in overdose death of ailing wife

Duane Johnson, 58, is accused of killing his wife, Debra Lynn Johnson, at a "death party" at their Searles, Minnesota.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Associated Press

SEARLES, Minn. — 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 charged with murder.

Fifty-eight-year-old Duane Johnson had been charged with criminal neglect 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.

Duane Arden Johnson was charged with third-degree murder after allegedly holding a "death party" for his sick wife who later died at their home on Jan. 24, 2019.Brown County Sheriff's Office

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.

A criminal complaint says the 69-year-old woman died of a methamphetamine overdose.