Franklin man arrested for DWI was on parole for 1981 murder conviction

NORTHFIELD — A Franklin man who was convicted of murder in 1981 is back in prison tonight after being arrested by local police last Thursday for driving while intoxicated and resisting arrest.

Northfield Police said Todd Johnson, 53, of 90 South Main St. Apt. A in Franklin allegedly tried to buy beer at the Big Apple in Tilton but was turned away by the clerk who felt he appeared "disoriented."

The clerk gave police a description of the car Johnson was driving and Northfield Police spotted it on Concord Road at 11:58 a.m.

Police said Johnson appeared disoriented and seemingly impaired. They said he was uncooperative with police and was allegedly telling them he wanted to hurt himself. Johnson is said to have mentioned he had guns at home.

Northfield Police took Johnson to Franklin Regional Hospital to rule out any medical or mental health issues. Police said his blood alcohol levels were nearly three times the legal driving level.

Police learned Johnson was on parole for a homicide he committed in 1980 in Andover, N.H.

Department of Corrections Spokesman Jeff Lyons said Johnson was convicted of murder in 1981 in Merrimack County Superior Court and sentenced to 25 years to life in prison. He was just 21 at the time.

He said Johnson was paroled on February 28, 1997 but was returned to prison on April 10, 1998 where he remained until June 7, 2000. Lyons said he has been on parole since then but because of last week's encounter with police has been returned to prison on a "technical parole violation."

Lyons said he didn't have any details of the homicide other than to say it occurred in Andover.

Northfield Police said the Franklin Police are investigating Johnson's claims of having guns at his house.