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Forum staff reports, Published July 09 2012

Sentencing set for Aug. 1 for man convicted in Cooperstown murder

COOPERSTOWN, N.D. – An Aug. 1 sentencing date has been set for a Cooperstown man convicted of killing a North Dakota State University researcher whose severed head was found buried in the man’s basement.

On April 24, a Griggs County jury found 31-year-old Daniel Evan Wacht guilty of murdering 54-year-old Kurt Johnson of Cooperstown, who was last seen alive being helped into Wacht’s van outside a Cooperstown bar on New Year’s Eve 2010.

Johnson’s severed head was found buried in a crawl space in Wacht’s basement. His body wasn’t recovered.

The maximum sentence Wacht could get would be life in prison without the chance for parole.