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 Feb. 8.

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.


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 the 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.

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

City of Red Deer has nearly doubled its active COVID-19 case count since Feb. 10 and has 75.6 per cent of the Central zone’s active cases. (File photo)
Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Province reports 13 new COVID-19 deaths, 430 new cases

Alberta chief medical officer of health Dr. Deena Hinshaw reported 11 additional deaths over the past 24 hours. (photography by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta
Red Deer active COVID-19 cases drop slightly

Province reports 267 additional COVID-19 cases, 11 new deaths

On Monday, Feb. 22, Island Health listed Glacier View Secondary on 241 Beacher Drive in Courtenay as having a COVID-19 exposure Feb. 17 and 18. Black Press file photo
Red Deer sets new COVID-19 case record

There are now 565 active cases in Red Deer

(Photo submitted)
Bashaw 2021 grad class holds successful fundraising drive

Committee is just about done fundraising for the year

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

Minister Rick Wilson poses with Katie at the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin, both wearing her Pink Shirt Day design. Facebook/ Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin Boys and Girls club Pink Shirt day design focuses on kindness

Katie with the Boys and Girls Club of Wetaskiwin created this year’s Pink Shirt Day design.

Black Press File Photo
Valentine’s Day shooting in Maskwacis leaves one male in hospital, one male in custody

19-year-old Francis Edward Nepoose from Maskwacis has been charged with attempted murder.

Red Deer Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Anne Kirker is expected to sentence Satnam Singh Sandhu on Friday. Red Deer Advocate file photo
Updated: Sylvan Lake man pleads guilty to manslaughter for strangling wife in 2019

Kulvinder Sandhu was strangled and died in hospital several days later

Sentencing delayed in the stabbing death of Samantha Sharpe, of Sunchild First Nation. (Red Deer Advocate file photo)
Central Alberta man not criminally responsible for killing his father in 2020: judge

Psychiatrist testified Nicholas Johnson was psychotic when he killed his father

Girls between the ages of 12 to 18 are most commonly the victims of human trafficking. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Alberta RCMP raises awareness of the dangers of human trafficking

Feb. 22 is National Human Trafficking Awareness Day

The cover of “Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care.” (Submitted)
Ponoka-born author writes history of old mental hospital

“Hometown Asylum: A History and Memoir of Institutional Care” covers 1911 to 1971

Most Read