(INDEPENDENCE, Mo.) The trial for a Pleasant Hill man accused of stabbing and killing a 23-year-old Missouri Air National Guards member in Lee’s Summit in 2018 got underway Tuesday at the Eastern Jackson County Courthouse in Independence.
Nicholas Webb was indicted by a grand jury and charged with two crimes in the May 2018 stabbing death of Cody Harter, including second-degree murder and armed criminal action.
Prosecuting Attorney Jeremy Baldwin, during opening arguments Tuesday, said Webb, when he spoke to investigators, told four different versions of what happened between him and Harter on May 5, 2018.
Baldwin said a medical examiner will testify that the autopsy shows Harter had a four-inch wound consistent with being stabbed that pushed through his ribs, lung, and nearly punctured his heart.
Baldwin said Webb’s criminal history will also show he was arrested by a different set of law enforcement on the same day as his altercation with Harter and evidence from that arrest shows Webb was wearing a black shirt, jeans, work boots, and carrying a pocket knife. The same outfit witnesses described the suspect at the scene was wearing.
Public Defender David Wiegert told the jury that Webb did hurt Harter on May 5 but in self-defense Wiegert said Webb then lied about it to police because he didn’t think anyone would believe a man with his criminal history. At the time of Harter’s death, Webb was newly released from prison after serving time for a 1981 murder in Cass County.
If the jurors find the 61-year-old is guilty of murder, Webb faces a minimum of 10 years in prison and additional time if he is also found guilty of armed criminal action.