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More Details Revealed As Ericsson Sentenced

June 15, 2012, 5:53 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

More Details Revealed As Ericsson Sentenced
Carl Ericsson

MADISON, SD -

Carl Ericsson received a mandatory life in prison sentence Friday after pleading guilty but mentally ill in May to second degree murder.

Ericsson says the motive for the murder is a grudge that dates back to when he went to high school with Johnson.

Ericsson suffers from chronic depression, but that didn't sway Judge Vince Foley. He said after reviewing all of the reports Ericsson knew right from wrong when he showed up on Johnson's doorstep in January and shot the former Madison teacher and track coach twice.

In court Johnson's family reminded Ericsson of the pain he's caused them.

"We miss my dad very much, my whole family misses my father very much," Norman Johnson's daughter Terri Wiblemo said as she addressed Ericsson in the courtroom.

His daughters said they understand why Ericsson may have held a grudge against their father.

"I can't blame you for being jealous of dad,” Johnson’s daughter Beth Ribstein said. “In high school he was popular. He was athletic. He dated mom. They had 52 wonderful years together and had two daughters that adored him, four grandchildren that worshipped their grandpa.”

Ericsson says the motive for the murder dates back to when he went to high school with Johnson. Lake County State's Attorney Ken Meyer gave more details Friday on what that grudge was about.

"Back at a time when Carl Ericsson was the student manager for the sports team he said that a jock strap was put on his head," Meyer said.

Ericsson is taking several prescription drugs for his chronic depression, but Judge Foley says the 73-year-old Watertown man still knew what he was doing when he pulled the trigger.

"Your medical records made it clear that you know right from wrong. I've reviewed all of your records and it's apparent to me that you just didn't give a darn," Foley said.

Just before he was sentenced to serve the rest of his life in prison, Ericsson apologized to Johnson's widow for the crime.

"I'd just like to tell Mrs. Johnson how very sorry I am for what I did. Her daughters put it very plainly and I guess I feel the same way when I'm laying in my bunk," Ericsson said.

Ericsson did say in court that he wishes he could turn back time and that the murder would have never happened.

Ericsson has no chance for parole with his life sentence.
 

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