Victim's family gives impact statements at Ericsson's sentencing - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

Victim's family gives impact statements at Ericsson's sentencing

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Life in prison; that's what the judge sentenced to Carl Ericsson, 73, for killing a former high school classmate in January.

Ericsson shot retired Madison teacher and track coach Norm Johnson on his doorstep as payback for a decades long grudge.

Lake County state's attorney Ken Meyer says Ericsson's motive was a locker room incident where a jock strap was put on his head by Johnson back when the two men were in high school.   

Ericsson first admitted to killing Johnson one month ago in court. That was after a psychiatric evaluation confirmed his mental illness. On Friday, the court reconvened and the judge delivered his punishment.

With Ericsson's guilty plea he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. While the sentence is fair, the Johnson family says things will never be the same.

"We miss my dad very much, my whole family misses my father very much." Said Johnson's daughter Terri Wiblemo.

Both of Johnson's daughters gave statements to the court but their words were directed at Ericsson.

"I know you have no remorse for any of this your life has been filled with anger, jealousy, and a need for revenge. I truly pity your wife and your family because you've been such a coward." Said Beth Ribstein.

It was a claim Ericsson did not dispute. He spoke to the family members present in the courtroom, begging their forgiveness.

"I'd just like to tell Mrs. Johnson how very sorry I am for what I did. Her daughters put it plainly and I guess I feel the same way when I'm lying in my bunk. I just wish I could turn the calendar back to before it happened and that it wouldn't have happened." Said Ericsson.

It's been just four and a half months since this grudge killing took place. With Friday's ruling, for the Johnson family at least, justice may have finally been served.

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