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Montana man faces attempted murder charge after throat slitting

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Posted: Saturday, November 24, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 12:08 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — The Montana man accused of slitting another man’s throat in a Fairbanks bar two weeks ago is now facing an attempted murder charge.

A grand jury handed up the attempted murder indictment last week against Lance Arthur Johnson, 45, of Poulson, Mont., who previously was charged with felony second-degree assault. The grand jury also indicted Johnson on a first-degree felony assault charge.

Johnson was arraigned on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty to both charges. He was released from Fairbanks Correctional Center after posting $25,000 bail.

Johnson allegedly slit the throat of a 37-year-old man at the Arctic Bar on the Old Steese Highway in the early morning hours of Nov. 10. The victim survived with only a cut to his throat and was able to call 911 and give police a description of Johnson, who was taken into custody as he was trying to leave the bar.

Fairbanks police say Johnson attacked the man without any apparent provocation, cutting a 5-to-6-inch slash across the victim’s throat.

The attack was captured on the bar’s security camera.

Police apprehended Johnson as he was leaving the back entrance of the bar. The victim identified Johnson as the man who stabbed him and was then rushed to the hospital, where his neck was sewn up.

No major arteries or veins were severed. Police said the man is lucky to be alive.

Johnson hired Fairbanks attorney Bill Satterberg to represent him, but Satterberg declined to discuss the case when contacted Friday. Johnson’s next court appearance will be an omnibus hearing on Jan. 24.

Contact staff writer Tim Mowry at 459-7587.

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