Almont man convicted of assault, acquitted of attempted murder | Courts and criminality



A Hebron man accused of attempting to kill his uncle has been acquitted of two of three charges against him following an incident in February at a farm in Morton County.

Eric Johnson, 36, has been convicted of aggravated assault, court records show. The jury found him not guilty of terrorism and attempted murder.

Johnson allegedly attacked his uncle on February 28 while the man was working cattle. Johnson carried a gun and told his uncle that if he didn’t kill himself Johnson would beat him to death, according to an affidavit filed by Lt. Tom Sharp of the Morton County Sheriff. The nature of the dispute is not clear.

The uncle fled in his vehicle after a scuffle in which Johnson reportedly gouged out his eyes. The vehicle got stuck in an ice covered cove and the uncle stayed there for about 12 hours before deputies found it. He spent about two days in the hospital due to his injuries, according to Sharp.

Johnson was initially charged with assault and terrorism. The attempted murder charge was filed a few days later. His trial began on Monday and the jury returned the verdicts on Wednesday.

Lawyer Benjamin Pulkrabek, who has defended Johnson on the attempted murder charge, said the case was not easy for jurors, adding “they have done a great job of ensuring the protection of the citizens’ rights “. William Thomason, defense attorney on the terrorism and assault charges, chose not to comment when contacted by the Tribune.

Morton County Assistant State Attorney Chase Lingle did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Johnson is being held at the Burleigh Morton Detention Center. Sentencing was not immediately scheduled. South Central District Judge James Hill has ordered a pre-sentence investigation.


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