A 62-year-old man who had been drinking heavily and who had ingested marijuana gummies took a butcher knife to his longtime friend's throat Friday in the victim's apartment in downtown Hopkins, according to a murder charge.
Daniel K. Johnson, of Hopkins, was charged Monday in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree murder and remains jailed in lieu of $1 million bail ahead of a court appearance Tuesday.
Police and prosecutors have yet to identify the victim.
Johnson was convicted in November for theft and was sentenced to 45 days in the Hennepin County workhouse and put on supervised probation for three years. Terms of the probation included staying out of legal trouble. He's also been convicted of disorderly conduct, assault, drunken driving and drug possession.
According to the criminal complaint:
Officers were dispatched to the apartment building at 9 7th Av. S. about 10:30 p.m. Friday about a man holding a butcher knife and knocking on doors with bloodied hands.
An incoherent Johnson soon curled into a fetal position in a hall and dropped the bloody knife at his feet.
Police arrested him and noted that he smelled of alcohol and was slurring his words while speaking about "spirits and ghosts" and "helping them kill someone."
Testing revealed his blood alcohol content at 0.18 percent. Johnson also acknowledged downing pot gummies.
Officers entered the victim's apartment and saw him dead on the living room floor. The front of his throat had a deep slash across it, and he had several stab wounds to his torso, as well as facial injuries.
The suspect's son said Johnson left his home elsewhere in Hopkins about 4:40 p.m. to hang out with the victim. The son added that Johnson has been depressed lately because this was about the time of year his wife and another son died.
Others told police that Johnson and the victim were longtime friends who would routinely get together to drink and consume marijuana. No one who spoke to police was aware of any friction between the two.
Apartment video surveillance captured Johnson riding to the building and the victim letting him in.