Schleicher gets life sentence for 2000 murder

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 24, 2002

OWATONNA &045; After hearing emotional testimony from the victim’s family, a judge Friday sentenced Roger Schleicher, who last month was convicted of killing his friend at his Ellendale home in December 2000, to life in prison.

Schleicher, 50, was returned to a state security hospital in St. Peter after the sentencing to await a transfer to prison. He said he would appeal the judge’s decision.

Family members of Jack Johannsen of Waseca, who was shot several times by his friend, Schleicher, had asked the judge for a life sentence.

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&uot;I want Mr. Schleicher to go away, period,&uot; said Gregory Johannsen, Jack’s son. &uot;I think that a life sentence is very appropriate because I don’t want that man on the street.&uot;

The judge also heard impact statements, typically given before sentencing, from Johannsen’s daughter, father and other family members.

Schleicher was found guilty of murder, but his lawyer argued that he was not responsible for the crime because of mental illness. Schleicher reportedly had delusions before the crime and came to think Johannsen was plotting against him. He was hospitalized for mental illness just days before the crime.

The judge, however, ruled that Shleicher’s words and actions following the crime demonstrated that he understood his act was wrong, and his insanity defense was rejected.