Man sentenced for plot to murder prosecutor

Published 4:00pm Saturday, January 19, 2013

FARIBAULT — A man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison for conspiring to kill a Minnesota prosecutor who used to be his neighbor.

Prosecutors alleged 49-year-old John Woodward hatched a plot to murder Dakota County Attorney Jim Backstrom while Woodward was in prison on a drug conviction.

Backstrom told the judge at Woodward’s sentencing Friday that Woodward has never accepted responsibility for his own criminal behavior.

A jury in Faribault convicted Woodward in December of trying to pay a fellow inmate to kill Backstrom. Woodward’s plot was foiled when the inmate told prison officials and agreed to wear a recording device.

Woodward continues to insist on his innocence. The 16-year sentence will begin after his prison term on the drug charges ends in 2014.