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Johnson to Face First Degree Murder Charges in Shootings

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Johnson To Face First Degree
Murder Charges In Shootings

Prosecutor Says
City Man Admits
Three Killings

Harold A. John-on ^S-year-old
father who sli killed his
35-year-old wife anu two daugh-
ters in their home at 1435 West-
field Ave. on the southwest edge
of the city Monday night, faces
first degree murder charges today
with warrants slated to be au-
thorized this afternoon.

William F. Ager, jr., assistant
prosecuting attorney, said late
this morning, after consultation
with Prosecutor Edmond F. De-
Vinc- thai three warrants cover-
the deaths would

He said last night that court
arraignment would be held as
soon as Johnson is pronounced
physically able by doctors.

University Hospital officials re-
ported this morning that John-
son may be released shortly after
noon today. Johnson was rushed
to the hospital after taking an
overdose of sleeping pills follow-^
ing the shootings. '
Arraignment Near

Ager related this morning that
if Johnson is released on that
schedule, he probably would be
arraigned today in municipal

He explained that the warrants
would cover all degrees of mur-
der, but that the prosecution's
case would be based on a first
degree murder charge, which
carries a mandatory life sentence
on conviction.

Ager also said that issuance of
three warrants did not necessar-
ily mean that Johnson would be
tried at the same time for all
three deaths. „

The assistant prosecuting at-
torney said last night, after
talking to Johnson in the hos-
pital, that the consultations with
the prosecutor today were neces-
sary in order to decide if John-
son would be charged with one or!
all three of the deaths.

After talking with Johnson last
night, Ager said he "admits
killing these three people, but as
yet gives no reason for it."
Obtain Statement

Detective Lt. George Stauch
said this morning that police had
obtained a formal statement from
Johnson last night, but that the
statement was not yet complete.
Stauch said Johnson gave "no
apparent reason" for the shoot-

Dead are Johnson's wife, Mar-
gery, and his two daughters,
Barbara, 3 and Margaret, 1.

Police broke into the house to
find the mother and older daugh-
ter in the living room with John-
son slumped over a partial par-
tition between the kitchen and
living room. The youngest daugh-
ter was found in her crib.

Police went to the house after
being notified of a call Johnson
made to his sister, Mrs. G. D. Por-
terfield at Houghton Lake.

Bodies of the mother and
daughters are to be taken to Iron
Mountain tonight. Funeral serv-
ices will be there at 2 p.m. Friday
in the Erickson Funeral Home.
Burial will be in Cemetery Park
in Iron Mountain. Arrangements
are being made by the Muehlig,
Funeral Chapel in Ann Arbor.'