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June 15, 2012 09:28 AM

Ericsson Sentenced To Life In Prison

madison, sd

A Watertown man who pleaded guilty but mentally ill to fatally shooting his former classmate will spend the rest of his life in prison.

73-year-old Carl Ericsson was given a mandatory life prison sentence Friday morning in Madison.  Ericsson admitted to the January killing of retired Madison High School teacher and track coach Norman Johnson last month.

On Friday in court, he did apologize to Johnson's widow and said that he wishes he could turn the clock back.

Johnson's daughters also spoke before Ericsson was sentenced, saying that they still deeply miss their dad, especially this weekend with Father's Day.

"It was particularly moving today to see Norm Johnson's daughters take the stand and express their feelings, which of course are indescribable but we can still feel that emotion and the loss," Lake County State's Attorney Ken Meyer said.

Ericsson says he killed Johnson because of a decades old grudge that dates back to high school.  Meyer said the incident involved Ericsson having a jock strap placed on his head when he was the student manager of a sports team.

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