Family, friends remember guardsman laid to rest after Lee's Summ - KCTV5 News

Family, friends remember guardsman laid to rest after Lee's Summit road rage murder

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The Harter family is focusing on remembering their son, brother and friend. A man who served his country and helped others. (KCTV5) The Harter family is focusing on remembering their son, brother and friend. A man who served his country and helped others. (KCTV5)
ST. JOSEPH, MO (KCTV) -

Family members and friends were visibly emotional Friday as they exited the funeral for a National Guardsman stabbed to death on the side of a metro highway.

The Harter family focused on remembering their son, brother and friend. A man who served his country and helped others.

Cody Harter, 23, was an Air National Guardsman who did tours in Iraq and Qatar. He also helped with hurricane relief in Houston, TX and Puerto Rico. He had served six years and was about to graduate with an engineering technology degree.

Harter’s funeral began at 10 a.m. at the Word of Life Church in St. Joseph, Missouri and there was a massive turnout. A visitation was held Thursday.

Nearly 150 veterans rode their motorcycles and assisted the procession. They say they did it to honor Harter as a fellow veteran and motorcycle rider.

“I knew it was going to be a big turn out for him and he deserved every bit," said Peyton Carvell, a close friend.

Carvell said that Harter loved motorcycles and dirtbikes, so the gesture was overwhelming. “I would hear his motorcycle come by and I knew it was him," he said. "He’d throw his helmet at me, take it off and be like, 'Here. Get on it. Go drive.” He said, "It didn’t matter. If you had to put gas in it and go, he loved it and this... I know it would mean the world to him." 

“I spoke with his uncle a couple days ago and I think he’s overwhelmed first of all, of course, by Cody’s death but then the number of people who showed up to do this for him,” American Legion Riders Director Mike Grimm said. “To us every military person is a brother or sister, and we do anything we can to honor them.”

Harter's Missouri Air National Guard unit coordinated a fly-over and 21-gun salute to honor him. 

The family was able to say goodbye to Cody knowing police have arrested and charged the man they believe is responsible for the murder.

“Everything was executed flawlessly," Carvell said. "I know it’s everything he would have wanted, 100 percent."

He said he remembers Harter as an amazing friend with a genuine soul and that's he's forgiven the man police say is responsible because Harter would have done the same.

“Had Cody lived, he’d have forgiven him in his hospital bed just immediately," he said. "That’s how Cody was, so we all forgive this man.”

Police allege that Nicholas Webb, 58, of Pleasant Hill, MO, killed Cody on Saturday near Colbern Road, where Missouri 291 Highway and Interstate 470 merge after a disagreement over merging lanes.

Officers made the arrested after getting surveillance video from eight different businesses and then receiving a tip. Webb has been charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action.

On Friday, Webb's bond was set at $500,000. His preliminary hearing has been set for May 21.

"It was senseless. He's been to war and back and to die because someone was angry," Harter’s mother 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?"

“We're talking about a person who served his country. Someone I consider to be a hero,” Lee’s Summit Police Chief Travis Forbes said. “We have several veterans on our department. So, this was something we felt we needed to cover tirelessly.”

Harter was in the area to pick up a commercial mower for his lawn care businesses and was on his way back to St Joseph.

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