LONDON, Ky. (FOX 56) — A Whitley County man pleaded guilty to the 2019 murder of his pregnant partner.
Daniel Scott Nantz, 33, of Woodbine, pleaded guilty on Thursday to the intentional murder of a federal witness, according to the Department of Justice.
According to the investigation and his plea agreement, Nantz was involved in methamphetamine trafficking throughout Whitley County from March 2017 to March 2019.
During the spring of 2019, some of Nantz’s suppliers and co-conspirators were indicted by a federal grand jury, one of them being a woman named Johnson, who was seven months pregnant and had a romantic relationship with Nantz.
The DOJ reported that in the days leading up to the murder, Nantz learned Johnson had provided an official statement to law enforcement and was offered the opportunity to cooperate with authorities against him. He discussed the fact he was the target of a federal methamphetamine trafficking investigation alongside Johnson.
A note, handwritten by Nantz, was recovered from the scene of the murder which read, “Funeral/fed’s pulled geri out asking questions.” He grew increasingly concerned he would also be indicted on a charge of trafficking methamphetamines and that Johnson would cooperate with him.
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On March 13 and March 14, 2019, authorities said Nantz sent multiple text messages to Johnson, one of which he said he would kill her. On March 16, while Johnson was home with Nantz’s children at Nantz’s trailer, he arrived and told his children to go to their room. He then proceeded to follow Johnson outside, and shot her twice with a revolver handgun, with one round piercing her neck.
After the shooting, Nantz drove Johnson to a Corbin hospital where she was pronounced dead. The baby was delivered via emergency cesarean section.
Authorities said the baby died several days later due to the damage sustained from the loss of oxygen and blood caused by the injuries to the mother.
Nantz is scheduled to be sentenced on July 17 and he faces a mandatory minimum of life in prison and a $250,000 fine.