Federal prosecutors seeking death penalty against Daniel Nantz
Nine months after prosecutors began the process, U.S. attorneys filed paperwork declaring their intention to seek the death penalty again Daniel S. Nantz, who is accused of the 2019 kidnapping and murder of Geri D. Johnson that also resulted in the death of her unborn child.
Nantz, 30, of Woodbine, was indicted on July 24 on charges of murder, kidnapping, two counts of conspiracy to distribute 500 or more grams of a mixture containing methamphetamine, possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
According to investigators, on March 16, 2019, Nantz fatally shot Johnson and then drove her to Baptist Health Corbin where he dropped her at the ambulance bay.
Johnson was pronounced dead at Baptist Health Corbin. The baby was successfully delivered and later transported to the University of Kentucky Medical Center Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
The child, listed as Amelia Johnson in the coroner’s report, died Tuesday at UK.
Nantz reportedly told 911 dispatchers and Kentucky State Police that Johnson had committed suicide. However, an autopsy indicated that he had been shot in the back near the shoulder area, and a second time in the neck.
Police recovered the weapon – a .38–caliber revolver– out of the pickup truck in which Nantz had reportedly transported Johnson from his residence at 1252 McNeil Corn Creek Road in Woodbine to the hospital.
Police located Nantz on the Corbin bypass near the access road to Ky. 26 minutes later.
Investigators reported that multiple witnesses reported seeing Nantz’s pickup truck traveling up the road near his home. As it passed, Nantz was reportedly heard yelling, “She shot herself!”
Investigators also reported finding a bullet hole in the headboard of the bed at Nantz’s home, but that no blood was found in the bed or the room.
However, they did find a blood trail leading toward an outbuilding near where the truck had been parked.
As to a possible motive, investigators noted that Johnson was named as a co-defendant in a federal indictment charging Nantz with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.
In the paperwork, prosecutors noted the cruel and heinous manner of Johnson’s murder and kidnapping, that it took substantial planning and premeditation, and that it involved multiple victims.
“(Nantz) demonstrated a callous lack of remorse by preventing the victim, Geri D. Johnson, from obtaining immediate medical treatment, using the time before driving her to the hospital in an effort to conceal his crime,” prosecutors added.
Attorney B.J. Foley, who, along with law partner Paul Croley, is representing Nantz, declined to comment.
No additional court dates have been scheduled to date.