Enlarge Credit: Brown County jail

Man Throws Sick Wife a “Death Party” With Metal and Meth

  • Axl Rosenberg

Years ago there was this movie with Eric Roberts and Cousin Balki called It’s My Party about a guy who finds out he’s dying from AIDS and decides to throw himself a big party, at the end of which he will take his own life. I honestly don’t remember very much about the movie, but the general premise has always stuck with me. At the risk of being overly morbid, I think the protagonist of that movie had the right idea. Wouldn’t you rather go down in a blaze of glory than drift slowly through a sea of suffering?

Which brings us to Duane and Debra Johnson from Searles, MN. Debra was pushing seventy and had long suffered from an array of serious illnesses, including cardiac arrest, diabetes and high blood pressure. She was being treated at a transitional care center — which is probably every bit as much fun as it sounds like — when she decided she’d had enough. So she asked her husband, the 59-year-old Duane, to take her home and throw her a “death party” with her favorite metal music.

Oh, also, she wanted meth.

And Duane — the bon vivant pictured above — “defied medical advice” and obliged his wife. He took Debra home, played all her favorite “rocking out music,” like Quiet Riot’s Metal Health, and he gave her a bunch of meth. They partied for days on end until, as planned, she passed away.

And then, according to Minnesota’s Star Tribune, this happened:

“A sheriff’s deputy dispatched to the home late that morning saw ‘Death Parde God Hell’ spray-painted in red on the front screen door and was greeted by a naked Duane Johnson yelling that his wife was dead upstairs.”

Meth is a helluva drug.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: Duane Johnson is in deep shit.

But actually, all things considered, he got off pretty light, pleading guilty to criminal neglect in exchange for the dismissal of a third-degree murder charge (as well as a charge of “receiving stolen property,” although what stolen property Johnson received hasn’t been reported). He was sentenced to three years minus time already served, and “will serve roughly 19 months in prison and the balance of his three-year term on supervised release,” according to the Star Tribune.

And the moral of the story is, Duane Johnson was a very, very good husband.

Thanks: David S.

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