NEW ULM — A Searles man who threw his ailing wife a drug-fueled “death party” was sentenced to three years in prison on Monday.

Duane Arden Johnson, 59, was sentenced on a felony neglect charge to which he pleaded guilty in June in Brown County District Court.

Judge Robert Docherty approved the sentence of three years in prison that was proposed in the plea deal. Johnson was given credit for 201 days already served in jail.

Johnson told authorities his wife, Debra Lynn Johnson, 69, begged him to take her home to die in January. They held a “death party” that included taking methamphetamine, he said. An autopsy found she died of methamphetamine toxicity, according to a court complaint.

A third-degree murder charge was dismissed in the plea deal.

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