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KALISPELL - A 21-year-old Polson man has been sentenced to 20 years at the Montana State Hospital for shooting his father to death in the woods about 45 miles west of Kalispell in 2008.

Ross Elliott Johnson had entered an Alford plea to negligent homicide and was sentenced Tuesday by District Judge Stewart Stadler. In an Alford plea, the defendant does not admit guilt, but acknowledges that the prosecution has enough evidence to gain a conviction.

Johnson was arrested Sept. 1, 2008, after a two-day standoff at his family's home outside Polson. Investigators say Johnson fled there after shooting 47-year-old Roger Johnson.

Johnson's mental state at the time of the killing had been called into question due to previous serious head injuries. He has been at the state hospital in Warm Springs since October 2008.

If Johnson no longer needs to remain at the state hospital before his 20 year sentence is exhausted, he must appear before the court to determine appropriate placement.

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