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Published April 22, 2013, 09:59 PM

Court hears appeal in Cooperstown murder case

The North Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments today in the appeal of a man convicted of killing North Dakota State University researcher Kurt Johnson of Cooperstown.

The North Dakota Supreme Court heard arguments today in the appeal of a man convicted of killing North Dakota State University researcher Kurt Johnson of Cooperstown.

32-year-old Daniel Wacht is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after a Griggs County jury found him guilty of murdering Johnson just one year ago. Wacht claims the trial erred in denying his motion to suppress evidence from what he claims were illegal searches of his van and home.

He also says there was insufficient evidence to find him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Johnson's head was found in a crawl space in the basement of Wacht's rented house in Cooperstown in January 201. It was five days after Johnson was seen alive for the last time being helped into Wacht's van on New Year's Eve 2010 outside the Oasis Bar in Cooperstown. Johnson's body hasn't been recovered. The Supreme Court took the case under advisement and will issue its opinion at a later date.

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