Advocate file photo

Stettler man not criminally responsible for killing his father: defence lawyer

Nicholas Johnson on trial for second-degree murder in death of father in January 2020

A Stettler man admits killing his father but is not criminally responsible because of a mental disorder, said his lawyer on Monday.

Nicholas Climb Johnson, 33, is accused of killing his father, Barry Douglas Johnson, on Jan. 15, 2020.

Defence lawyer Patty MacNaughton told Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Bruce Millar that she intends to argue that Johnson should not be held criminally responsible for his father’s death.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown prosecutor Greg Gordon described in Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench the brutal slaying of Johnson, 67, in the basement of his Stettler home that January morning.

Nicholas’s mother and Barry’s wife had gone to work that morning and when she returned home in the early afternoon she found the front door locked, which was unusual.

READ MORE

Stettler man accused of killing his father

She knocked and Nicholas let her in and he then sat down at the kitchen table. She could see that his hands were cut and bleeding.

She asked him what happened and he said there was a bigger mess in the basement. When she went down she found her husband’s bloody body on the floor covered in a sheet.

A 911 call was made to police about 2:55 p.m. and two officers arrived at the house within minutes.

They found Nicholas at the kitchen table “staring blankly.”

In the basement, they found the body and evidence of a struggle in Barry’s room. The door had been smashed and there were blood spatters on the walls.

The statement of facts, said Nicholas took what he called a “sword of truth” from the kitchen and attacked his father, stabbing him a number of times.

His father tried to get away and at one point wrestled the knife off of his son. Nicholas badly cut his hands trying to get it back. A pinkie finger was nearly severed and later required plastic surgery.

Nicholas also hit his father with a clothes iron and a large rock.

An autopsy found 27 stab wounds on Barry, who died from blunt and sharp force injuries.

Nicholas was arrested without incident and taken to Stettler detachment and then to hospital to have his injuries tended. After being taken to the hospital again the next day, he gave a statement to police.

The police searched the home the same day and found a large carving knife and a smaller knife covered in blood. A rock, clothes iron and wooden stick were also recovered.

A chest freezer had also been mostly cleaned out, with the food on the floor beside it.

In the bathroom, police found bloody towels and a container of what appeared to be borax.

The trial continues Tuesday.



pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Jayden Grubbe is one of three Rebels on the NHL Central Scouting players to watch list for the 2021 NHL Draft. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Rebels seek consistency ahead of matchup with Hitmen

The Red Deer Rebels had to deal with a pang of regret… Continue reading

Premier Jason Kenney and Minister of Health Tyler Shandro to announce investments to reduce surgery wait times. (File photo by BLACK PRESS)
More than 16K surgeries, procedures delayed in Alberta due to COVID-19

COVID-19 has delayed more than 16,000 surgeries and procedures in Alberta, as… Continue reading

Quinn Mason died from an opioid overdose at the age of 23 in June 2020. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta mother whose son died from overdose advocates for ‘change’

It’s been about nine months since her son died from an overdose,… Continue reading

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Thursday that the province was ready to move forward with Phase 2A and B in the coming weeks. (Photo by Paul Taillon/Office of the Premier)
Majority of Albertans to receive first shot before June 30: Shandro

Shandro says all Albertans should be offered the COVID-19 vaccine by June 30

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw acknowledged that Friday would be one year since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in the province. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Three more Red Deer COVID-19 deaths, 331 active cases in Alberta

Red Deer is down to 362 active cases of the virus

Bryson, six, and Mara, eight, play with puppies from Dogs With Wings Saturday. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)
WATCH: Dogs With Wings introduces Red Deer program

A program that trains puppies to be certified service, autism, facility and… Continue reading

Dillon Dube scores hat trick for Flames in 7-3 win over Senators

Dillon Dube scores hat trick for Flames in 7-3 win over Senators

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp gives instructions during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Chelsea at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England, Thursday, March 4, 2021. (Phil Noble, Pool via AP)
Liverpool slumps to historic 5th straight loss at Anfield

Liverpool slumps to historic 5th straight loss at Anfield

Philadelphia Flyers' Sean Couturier (14) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Tristan Jarry (35) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Flyers rally from early deficit to stun Penguins 4-3

Flyers rally from early deficit to stun Penguins 4-3

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jake Allen reacts to a goal by Winnipeg Jets' Paul Stastny, left, during first-period NHL hockey action in Montreal on Thursday, March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Pierre-Luc Dubois scores overtime winner as Winnipeg Jets edge Montreal Canadiens 4-3

Pierre-Luc Dubois scores overtime winner as Winnipeg Jets edge Montreal Canadiens 4-3

Toronto Raptors guard Terence Davis (0) shoots after grabbing a rebound against Boston Celtics center Robert Williams III, left, during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Thursday, March 4, 2021, in Boston. At right is Boston Celtics guard Payton Pritchard. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
Tatum scores 27, Celtics outlast depleted Raptors 132-125

Tatum scores 27, Celtics outlast depleted Raptors 132-125

International Ice Hockey Federation President Rene Fasel answers a question during a news conference addressing hockey issues at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The International Ice Hockey Federation has confirmed the postponement of the women's world hockey championship in Nova Scotia to May 6-16. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Mark Humphrey
IIHF postpones women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia to May

IIHF postpones women’s world hockey championship in Nova Scotia to May

Quebec Premier François Legault chairs a virtual news conference Thursday, March 4, 2021 in Montreal. The premiers from the left are: John Horgan, B.C.; Jason Kenney, Alberta; Scott Moe, Saskatchewan; Legault, Quebec; Brian Pallister, Manitoba; Doug Ford, Ontario; and Blaine Higgs, New Brunswick. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

Premiers reiterate demand for $28-billion increase in health transfers from Ottawa

Most Read