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Franklin man convicted of 1980 murder returned to prison

Todd Johnson of Franklin.

Todd Johnson of Franklin.

A Franklin man convicted of murder in 1981 has returned to prison after being detained last week in Northfield on charges of driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

Todd Johnson, 53, was arrested late Thursday morning after he apparently tried to purchase alcohol from a store in Tilton and was turned away because he appeared “disoriented.” A clerk there told authorities that Johnson had left in a vehicle and appeared to be driving toward Northfield.

At 11:58 a.m., the Northfield police found Johnson parked on the side of Concord Road. He appeared impaired, they said, and was uncooperative, making statements about harming himself and owning firearms, and fighting with officers when they tried to detain him.

Once in custody, he was transported to Franklin Regional Hospital for a medical examination, which showed that his blood alcohol level was more than three times the legal limit.

The police later determined that Johnson was on parole for a 1980 homicide in Andover, for which he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder the following year and was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. The details of that incident are still being researched, the Northfield police said yesterday, but involved a burglary during which a homeowner was killed.

Johnson was first paroled in 1997, the police said, but was sent back the following year for a violation. He was again released in 2000, they said.

Johnson is being held in the state prison on $2,000 cash bail. The Northfield and Franklin police said yesterday they were investigating his claim about owning firearms.

(Jeremy Blackman can be reached at 369-3319, or on Twitter @JBlackmanCM.)

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