WCDA Announces Murder Sentencing
Guilty Plea Results in Life Sentence for Murderer of Sparks Man

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4307 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

August 11, 2020

Reno, Nevada


The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has announced that Nicole Justine Dattke, age 34, was sentenced last Monday in Washoe County District Court by Judge Kathleen Drakulich to life imprisonment after previously pleading guilty to one count of 2nd Degree Murder. Based on the sentence, Dattke must serve a minimum of 10 years before parole eligibility begins.  

The case against Dattke began on September 28, 2019 after the Sparks Police Department (SPD) received a call regarding an injured man at the Campion Motel on 22nd Street in Sparks.  Upon arrival, SPD Officers found the body of Michael Krantz, aged 58, outside one of the apartments.  Krantz had suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the abdomen.  SPD Detectives responded and a subsequent search of the victim’s apartment located a spent 9mm cartridge case and a 9mm fired bullet.  A diaper, child’s toy, and a bag of women’s clothing was also found within the apartment.  Further investigation determined that a woman had been at the Krantz’ apartment overnight.  Nearby surveillance video depicted the woman pushing a baby stroller and arriving at the apartment complex around 10:00 p.m. the night before the shooting. At 6:00 a.m. the following morning, the same woman is seen leaving the apartment carrying a child in a car seat and walking towards Rail City Casino in West Sparks. Detectives were able to identify Dattke with the assistance of her probation officer. Detectives also learned that Dattke was a suspect in a reported firearm theft that took place on September 26th at a nearby apartment.  A search warrant on the residence of Dattke’s boyfriend was executed and located a gun box and other property matching the description from the theft.  The firearm was never recovered.

Forensic investigators were able to determine that Krantz was killed with a firearm matching the manufacturer and caliber of the stolen firearm.  Additionally, clothing inside Krantz’ apartment contained Dattke’s DNA.  Sparks Police Detectives interviewed Dattke, who denied being at Krantz’ apartment and explained that she was at Rail City to meet friends for breakfast. Dattke was arrested and this office filed formal murder charged against her. At the time of the crime, Dattke was on probation as a result of a 2019 Churchill County conviction for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle of Value $3500 or More.  

At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Amos Stege argued that the murder of Mr. Krantz was senseless and, with Dattke’s criminal history, a consecutive life sentence was warranted. Judge Drakulich agreed, and ordered a sentence of life in prison, to be served consecutive to the Churchill County sentence, which was 10 years in prison with parole eligibility after 4 years are served.  Dattke’s prior criminal history includes 4 felony convictions in Utah and two in Nevada for crimes of theft, escape and possession of controlled substances.

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