Madison shooting suspect pleads not guiltyMADISON (AP) — A lawyer for a 73-year-old Watertown man accused of fatally shooting his long-ago classmate in an incident that might have stemmed from an old grudge entered a not guilty plea and requested a jury trial at a court hearing Thursday.
By: DIRK LAMMERS, The Associated Press
MADISON (AP) — A lawyer for a 73-year-old Watertown man accused of fatally shooting his long-ago classmate in an incident that might have stemmed from an old grudge entered a not guilty plea and requested a jury trial at a court hearing Thursday.
Carl Ericsson is charged with first-degree murder in the Jan. 31 killing of retired Madison High School teacher and track coach Norman Johnson. Johnson, 72, was shot twice in the face after answering the door at his house in Madison.
Defense attorney Scott Bratland entered the plea on Ericsson's behalf during a preliminary hearing. He also requested a trial, which Circuit Judge Vince Foley set for July 9. It is expected to last two weeks.
Both Bratland and state's attorney Ken Meyer declined comment after the hearing.
Ericsson's brother, Madison resident Dick Ericsson, said in a court affidavit that his brother suffers from depression and alcoholism and that the two last talked about six months ago. He said his brother was a sports manager at Madison High years ago and that "there was an incident where Norm Johnson did something to Carl."
"Since that time, over 50 years ago, Carl has held a grudge against Norm Johnson," the affidavit said.
The two had also been students at the school.
Shortly after the shooting, Johnson's wife, Barbara, found him lying on the floor and saw a man walking to a dark sedan parked outside.
A bit later, investigators say, a man matching the suspect's description was spotted trying to enter the home of another retired Madison High School teacher and coach. Officers collected two flashlights and photographed tire and shoe impressions outside of the house. A resident then reported seeing a man a quarter-mile away outside of Dick Ericsson's home, according to an arrest affidavit.
When investigators interviewed Carl Ericsson the day after the shooting at his Watertown home, they reported seeing items that piqued their interest — including two flashlights similar to those seized outside of Larson's house and a Glock handgun. With Ericsson's permission, officers looked at his Ford Taurus and noted that the tire treads appeared consistent with tracks left at two of the Madison homes.
During an interview at the Watertown Police station, Ericsson acknowledged being in Madison that Tuesday and having the handgun with him, but denied remembering Johnson or going to his house, according to the affidavit.
Johnson died of two gunshot wounds to the face, an autopsy determined.