Shawano County man sentenced to life in mental institution - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Shawano County man sentenced to life in mental institution


A Shawano County man who admitted to brutally killing his father has learned his sentence. We're hearing from him for the very first time.

Joshua Johnson, 21, was sentenced Thursday to spend the rest of his life in a mental health facility.

In front of family and friends, Johnson reflected publicly about what happened that day in February.

"The state of mind I'm in now is completely different than what it was," Johnson said in court.

Johnson was arrested after he confessed to brutally murdering his father, Donald Johnson, in their home. In October, Johnson was found not guilty due to mental illness.

Doctors say he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia. Before the sentence, family members on both sides made their final arguments.

"The healing needs to begin today for all families, especially for Josh. Please give this child a second chance at a normal life," Lori Boris, Joshua Johnson's mother told the court.

But Johnson's grandfather told the court that second chance could come at a price.

"My opinion is he will kill again if, in his mind, he was wronged," Johnson's grandfather, Fred Johnson said. "It's my plea that Josh be placed in confinement for the rest of his life," he continued.

The judge agreed, and Johnson was sentenced to life in a mental health facility. But not before he addressed his father's family.

"I've understood what you said. I can see where you guys come from, but this should have never happened," Johnson said.

Attorneys on both sides reacted to the sentence.

"I think, under the circumstances, the nature and the violence that he used to kill his father, this was absolutely a life time commitment case and I think the judge made the right decision," Shawano County District Attorney Greg Parker said.

"I thought it was way overboard, he just didn't take any chances. I think my recommendation of one year was the right one," Johnson's defense attorney Jared Redfield said.

It's unclear where Johnson will serve his sentence. But for now, he's in jail.

As part of the sentence, Johnson can request a mental health review every six months.

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