Suspect takes plea in Joplin homicide case

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — A second defendant in a Joplin homicide case has agreed to a plea deal that will require him to testify against the alleged shooter.

The Joplin Globe ( ) reports that 22-year-old Cody E. Stephens pleaded guilty Friday in Jasper County Circuit Court to second-degree murder and first-degree burglary in the in the July 2012 death of 23-year-old Jacob Wages.

Circuit Judge David Mouton has delayed formal acceptance of the plea bargain.

Under the deal, the Jasper County prosecutor agreed to limit Stephens' sentence to 15 years. Stephens wouldn't be sentenced until after next month's trial of alleged shooter Daniel Hartman on charges of first-degree murder and burglary.

Prosecutors say the suspects broke into Wages' home because they believed he had $5,000 and a pound of Ecstasy pills.


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