Living History: Tin cans will be salvaged in Wadena
20 years ago Excerpts from the Feb. 6, 1997 Pioneer Journal o Johnson found guilty of murder A Wadena man was convicted Thursday of strangling his wife to death and hiding her body in an excavated portion of her Wadena home last July. Jerry Lewis "J.
20 years ago
Excerpts from the Feb. 6, 1997 Pioneer Journal
• Johnson found guilty of murder
A Wadena man was convicted Thursday of strangling his wife to death and hiding her body in an excavated portion of her Wadena home last July.
Jerry Lewis "J.J." Johnson, 38, was convicted on two counts of second degree murder and first degree manslaughter.
Johnson, who is expected to be sentenced sometime in March, could get 10 to 15 years in prison, according to the prosecution.
After deliberating for three days, the jury in Alexandria delivered the verdict at 1 p.m. Thursday in the Douglas County Courthouse before District Judge Timothy Baland. The trial, which began Jan. 21, had been moved from Wadena to Alexandria because of pretrial publicity.
Johnson was found guilty of murdering his wife, Kelly jo Johnson, 27, at her home sometime between 3 and 8 a.m. on July 19, 1996. He was accused of strangling her on her bed with a telephone cord.
One day after the murder, a law enforcement agent discovered her body partially buried in an excavated crawl space area of her basement. Johnson had begun the excavation months earlier as an expansion project.
During the weeklong trial, testimony revealed that Johnson had previously abused his wife, that he had been undergoing anger counseling and that his wife regularly attended a support group for battered women. Three months before her death, she was granted an order for protection against him.
At the trial, Johnson did not testify. The defense claimed that Wadena police had been too quick to suspect and interrogate Johnson when there were at least two other plausible suspects, his attorney told the jury.
50 years ago
Excerpts from the Feb. 9, 1967 Pioneer Journal
• Wadena County has new deputy sheriff
Newly appointed Wadena County deputy sheriff Greg Schmitz of Verndale received his official badge from county sheriff Manley Erickson. Schmitz began his official duties as deputy sheriff Feb. 1. County commissioners at their first meeting of 1967 authorized the purchase of a radio for the deputy sheriff's car for law enforcement, necessary clothing and equipment for this new position. The appointment of Schmitz is on a probationary period until jan. 1, 1968.
• Veterans Service office gains new location
A.P. Anderson, Veteran Service officer, announced the new location of his office in the county courthouse this week.
His office is now located in the former assessor's room at the courthouse. The Veteran Service Officer and the County Sheriff had shared the same office on the ground floor of the courthouse prior to the move.
Persons desiring to call Anderson are reminded to use his new telephone number rather than calling the County Sheriff's Office. Anderson has served as Veteran Service Officer for the past four years.
County Assessor Marvin Pulju's office is located in the former County Superintendent of School's room.
80 years ago
Excerpts from the Feb. 12, 1937 Pioneer Journal
• Tin cans will be salvaged in Wadena
The Wadena County Red Cross chapter has announced the salvage of tin cans to be conducted along with its collection of waste paper and cardboard, beginning Tuesday. Collection will be made in the same way as paper and cardboard and the cans need not be separated from the paper and they need not be flattened.
Red Cross officials urge that all who have not started saving paper for this collection do so now. Many homes are contacted each week and, as a result, Wadena stands out as one of the foremost cities in the project of paper salvage.
Collections are made Tuesdays and Wednesdays from houses where the "V card" is on display. Francis Perkins, in charge of the pick-up trucks, asks that cards be placed in the windows early in the morning so that no house will be missed.