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Associated Press, Published August 01 2012

Sentencing is today for man convicted in beheading death

COOPERSTOWN, N.D. – A judge will decide today whether a North Dakota man convicted of shooting and beheading a North Dakota State University researcher should serve life in prison without parole.

A jury in April found Daniel Wacht guilty of murder in the death of 54-year-old Kurt Johnson. Prosecutors say Wacht killed Johnson to prove his worth to a white supremacist group.

Johnson was last seen alive outside a Cooperstown bar on New Year’s Eve 2010. His severed head was found in a crawl space in Wacht’s basement. His body has not been found.

Prosecutors said during trial there were “layers of evidence” to convict Wacht. Defense attorney Steven Mottinger argued that there was no way to prove Wacht pulled the trigger.

Sentencing is scheduled in Cooperstown at 9:30 a.m. today.

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