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Appeal Rejected In ND Decapitation Slaying

Daniel Wacht
Daniel Wacht

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The North Dakota Supreme Court has rejected the appeal of a man serving life in prison for killing and beheading a North Dakota State University researcher.

Daniel Wacht argued that law officers did not have probable cause to search his van and his home, where they found Kurt Johnson's head in a crawl space in the basement. Supreme Court justices disagreed.

Authorities say Wacht shot Johnson after a night of drinking on New Year's Eve 2010, then cut off his head.

Johnson's body was never found.

Prosecutors contended Wacht was motivated by his attraction to the Aryan Nation.

Wacht's defense questioned the alleged motive.

Wacht was convicted of murder in April 2012.