Whitley Co. man pleads guilty to murdering a federal witness

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 1:46 PM EDT
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LONDON, Ky. (WYMT) - Daniel Scott Nantz, 33, of Woodbine, KY, has pleaded guilty to the 2019 murder of federal witness Geri D. Johnson.

Nantz entered a guilty plea on Thursday to the intentional murder of Johnson, who also happened to have been in a romantic relationship with Nantz and was pregnant.

The investigation and plea agreement said Nantz was engaged in drug trafficking in Whitley County from March 2017 through March 2019.

In the spring of 2019, some of Nantz’s sources of supply and co-conspirators were indicted by a federal grand jury.

Johnson was one of the co-conspirators. She was given the opportunity to cooperate with police against Nantz after she provided a statement to law enforcement.

Nantz learned about the statement, and on March 13, 2019, he texted Johnson saying, “I’ll kill you [expletive].”

Just three days later, Johnson was at Nantz’s home with his children when he arrived, told his children to go to their rooms, and followed Johnson outside the home.

Nantz then shot the Johnson twice with a .38-caliber revolver, striking her in the back right shoulder and piercing her neck.

Nantz drove her to the hospital in Corbin where she was pronounced dead. Johnson’s baby was delivered but later died as well.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Shawn S. Morrow, Special Agent in Charge, ATF, Louisville Field Division; and Commissioner Phillip Burnett with Kentucky State Police announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by the Bureau of Tobacco, Alcohol and Firearms and KSP. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna E. Reed.

Nantz is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17, 2023.

Nantz faces a minimum of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.