Charges: Man's wife died during 'death party'

The 58-year-old man removed his wife from a nursing home against expert advice.
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Duane Arden Johnson

A southern Minnesota man has been charged with felony criminal neglect in the death of his wife. 

Duane Arden Johnson, 58, was arrested last Thursday after calling the Brown County Sheriff's Office to report the death of his wife.

When police arrived at his home in the small town of Searles, Johnson ran outside naked and told them his wife was dead. He then went back inside to take a bath so he could wash little white and black "things" coming from his skin, of which there were none. 

The words "Death Parde God Hell" had been spray-painted in red on the front door, according to the criminal complaint. Once inside authorities found Debra Lynn Johnson, 69, dead. She was wrapped in a gray sheet tied with a belt at the top of a narrow stairwell. 

Johnson said: “I prepared the dead like the Bible told me to do.”

Johnson told investigators that his wife died sometime around 8:30 a.m. that day, but he waited until just before noon to call 911 because he wanted to make sure she was dead.  

The complaint states that Johnson removed his wife from a nursing home at her request and took her home to die.

He admitted taking methamphetamine with her during their "death party" in which they listened to rock music for days. He said he held her in their bed to keep her from injuring herself.

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Johnson said she was shaking and convulsing a lot, noting that she stopped taking her medication and wasn't eating or drinking. 

A search of their home also revealed numerous guns, rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. Johnson claimed he had 47 guns, many of them stolen. 

Johnson has been charged with criminal neglect and receiving stolen property, both felonies. 

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