Racist Decapitation Murder Shakes Small North Dakota Town
The 984 residents of Cooperstown “look at strangers twice now, before they invite them into their lives in some way,” the prosecutor said at the sentencing of Daniel Evan Wacht, a 31-year-old from California with a lengthy criminal record.
State District Judge Jim Hovey sentenced Wacht to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the Jamestown newspaper reported. Wacht was convicted by a jury on April 24 of felony murder in the death of North Dakota State University researcher Kurt Johnson, 54, of Cooperstown.
Only the victim’s head - found buried in the mud in the basement crawl space of Wacht’s rental house across the street from the county courthouse - was found. Authorities believe the remainder of the victim’s body may have been transported to Minnesota.