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Ericsson Pleads Guilty In Old Grudge Death

May 15, 2012, 2:46 PM

Ericsson Pleads Guilty In Old Grudge Death
Carl Ericsson

MADISON, SD -

A 74-year-old South Dakota man accused of fatally shooting his long-ago classmate has pleaded guilty but mentally ill to a second-degree murder charge.

Carl Ericsson was charged in the Jan. 31 killing of retired Madison High School teacher and track coach Norman Johnson. Johnson was shot twice in the face after answering his door.

An arrest affidavit suggested the incident might have been sparked by a decades-old grudge that originated when Johnson and Ericsson were students at Madison High.

Ericsson pleaded not guilty to a first-degree murder charge in February and requested a jury trial. But defense attorney Scott Bratland and Lake County State's Attorney Kenneth Meyer announced May 1 that a deal had been reached on the lesser charge, which carries a mandatory life sentence.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:
In court, Mr. Ericsson story stated he is 74 years old. This story from the Associated Press has been updated to reflect that.

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