Man previously convicted of murder now charged in road rage deat - KCTV5 News

Man previously convicted of murder now charged in road rage death of Cody Harter

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On Sunday morning, the victim was identified as 23-year-old Cody M. Harter from St. Joseph, Missouri. Harter was a member of the National Guard and had his own lawn care business. On Sunday morning, the victim was identified as 23-year-old Cody M. Harter from St. Joseph, Missouri. Harter was a member of the National Guard and had his own lawn care business.
A man was found dead on the side of the highway after drivers reported a man bleeding. (Nathan Vickers/KCTV5) A man was found dead on the side of the highway after drivers reported a man bleeding. (Nathan Vickers/KCTV5)
A picture of the victim's vehicle. (Lee's Summit Police Department) A picture of the victim's vehicle. (Lee's Summit Police Department)
Nicholas Webb Nicholas Webb
LEE'S SUMMIT, MO (KCTV) -

A 58-year-old Pleasant Hill man has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of Cody Harter. 

Nicholas M. Webb, 58, has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. 

Police say 23-year-old Cody Harter was stabbed to death on 291 Highway and I-470 merge near Colbern Road.

Webb was previously sentenced to 35 years in prison for strangling a woman to death in 1980. He only had to serve 15 years, but went back to prison multiple times for violating parole. He was most recently paroled in July, less than a year ago.

He also had multiple convictions for assault, court records say.

He had been arrested in Liberty the same day that the homicide happened for drug possession and DUI. Information from that arrest said Webb had a knife in his pocket. 

The Lee's Summit Police Department had said a person of interest was taken into custody on Wednesday night, five days after the fatal stabbing happened.

Witnesses and surveillance video led police to Webb. The charging documents list 51 witnesses. 

A press conference was held in Lee's Summit at 4:45 p.m. on Thursday to provide more information.

“There’s been a lot of questions about how is it that this man can be out," said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker. "In essence, he served almost, day-to-day, his entire sentence. He just did so a little bit broken up and he was released, originally, after 15 years."

There is now a law in place that is called the 85 percent rule. So, if he is convicted this time, he'll have to spend at least 85 percent of his sentence in jail.

Webb is being held on a $500,000 bond.

Prior to Thursday's update, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens posted about Harter on his Facebook page. 

"Cody served in the Middle East, and proudly shipped off to Houston and Puerto Rico to help his fellow Americans recover from natural disasters," Greitens wrote. "He served Missouri and his country well. Please say a prayer for justice, and for peace for his family and friends."

ORIGINAL STORY

A killer is still on the loose tonight after an apparent road rage incident on i-470 in Lee’s Summit on Saturday.

Police say 23-year-old Cody Harter was stabbed to death on 291 Highway and I-470 merge near Colbern Road.

Homicide detectives already have 40 videos they are watching right now, some of those clips come from nearby businesses like Moon Tees. Once collected, they will comb through the videos to identify and eliminate cars that are seen near the victim's vehicle. If investigators get a solid identification on a person or a vehicle, they will seek the public's help to find the person or vehicle.

At about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, police were dispatched to the area of northbound 291 Highway near the I-470 merger on a report of a man stumbling in traffic.

The victim was found dead by his truck in the middle of the interstate. 

Police are investigating it as a homicide. 

Northbound Highway 291 and I-470 were closed in the area of Colbern Road and Douglas Street, respectively.

Harter was a member of the National Guard and had his own lawn care business. He was also an aspiring dirtbike racer. 

He had driven down to KC to pick up a new lawnmower for his business.

According to police, initial witness reports indicated that two men were fighting beside the road, outside their vehicles. They described it as a possible road rage incident.

Witnesses said they saw another vehicle stopped either in front of or behind the victim's vehicle.

Police believe that Harter was stabbed during the argument, stumbled into traffic, and died.

The suspect fled north on I-470. 

Investigators did find the man's truck on the shoulder of the road. It is a 2003 Chevrolet Silverado truck, extended cab Z71 edition, that is maroon. At the time of the incident, the victim had a large, zero-turn lawnmower in the bed of the truck. A picture is within this article.

Lee's Summit police are asking for anyone who may have been in the area at the time or who saw anything to call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS or 816-474-8477. You can reach the police department, if necessary, at 816-969-7390, but call the TIPS Hotline first.

They are also asking people to call if they might have seen the victim’s truck traveling north on M-291 from 50 Highway.

"He did a tour over in Iraq and he was in Quatar," his mother said at a press conference on Sunday. "He helped with hurricane relief in Houston and Puerto Rico. He loved everyone. He would help anybody. He only had one semester left until he graduated with an engineering technology degree."

"He was not just a number," she said. "He was a person." 

"It was senseless. He's been to war and back and to die because someone was angry," she said. "I can only imagine someone was upset because he wasn't going fast enough. Is that a reason to take his life and leave him there?"

"He would do anything to help anyone at the drop of a hat," said Kylee Harter, his sister. "For someone to just take everything from him... They didn't know him. He didn't deserve this and we don't deserve the pain that came with it."

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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