A Gray man has pleaded guilty in federal court to kidnapping an individual who later provided police with information into the March 16 shooting death of Geri Johnson.
David C. Huff, 36, appeared in U.S. District Court in London Wednesday for an arraignment on the felony information, and entered a guilty plea to the kidnapping charge.
Most felony criminal charges are brought via an indictment, which typically involves the victim of a crime or an investigating officers presenting evidence to a grand jury, which then issues an indictment if most of the grand jurors believe it is likely that a crime has been committed.
An information is usually brought when prosecutors and a defendant can agree that a crime has been committed, and often it involves a recommended sentence or sentencing range for the defendant that is less than the maximum sentence for the crime.
Huff was with the kidnapping of the victim, identified in the complaint as “Victim 1” and holding the victim for ransom over stolen drugs.
In the complaint filed March 26, the victim stated that Huff and David Nantz, the suspect in Johnson’s death, came to the residence in Whitley County to speak with the victim.
“V1 advised that once inside, Nantz and Huff accused V1 of stealing 8 grams of methamphetamine from a local dealer,” the complaint states noting that Huff allegedly slapped the victim and forced the victim inside.
“V1 said Huff then hit V1 in the back of V1’s head with a handgun,” the complaint states.
In addition, the duo allegedly told the victim that the firearm the victim had found earlier in March and later sold had belonged to Nantz and that Nantz wanted it returned.
The victim said Nantz appeared to be intoxicated at the time and that he/she was held for several hours, demanding that he/she confess to stealing the methamphetamine.
At some point, Nantz and Huff reportedly left the room, at which time, the victim was able to retrieve a cell phone and attempt to make a call to another individual identified in the complaint at, “Victim 2.”
However, Huff returned.
While initially attempting to stop the victim, Huff reportedly told the victim to make the call and attempt to get the money to settle the debt.
“KSP investigators noted visible head injuries to V1’s head during their interview with V1, and those injuries were documented by KSP,” the complaint states.
Police stated that V1 asked for $200.
The victim stated he/she was later permitted to leave with the promise to obtain the money.
It was upon leaving the residence that the victim allegedly observed Nantz and Huff in Nantz’s truck. Nantz was reportedly holding Geri Johnson’s head, and later heard them start yelling ‘She shot herself’ as they drove off.
The victim told law enforcement that Huff came to his/her residence in Knox County on March 21 to ask about the money.
“V1 said she/he promised to get Huff the money by noon,” the complaint states. “V1 stated that she/he borrowed the money from V2, and paid Huff $200 on March 21, 2019.”
No sentencing date has yet been set in the case.