Man convicted of plotting to kill prosecutor

Published 12:50 pm Saturday, December 8, 2012

FARIBAULT — A jury has convicted a man of conspiring to kill Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom.

The Rice County jury convicted John Woodward Friday. Jurors acquitted Woodward of conspiracy to commit assault against a woman.

Prosecutors alleged Woodward hatched a revenge plot while he was in prison on a drug conviction.

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Woodward was convicted of trying to pay a fellow inmate to kill Backstrom, Woodward’s former neighbor. Woodward’s plot was foiled when the inmate told prison officials and agreed to wear a recording device.

Earlier, a judge dismissed a charge that alleged Woodward tried to pay to have the judge who sentenced him on the drug conviction killed.

He was acquitted of trying to have a woman who testified against him maimed with a baseball bat.