Pleasant Hill man found guilty in fatal stabbing, convicted of murder a second time

·2 min read

A 61-year-old man has been convicted of murder for a second time following a May 2018 road-rage incident that left a man fatally stabbed, prosecutors said.

Nicholas M. Webb, of Pleasant Hill, was found guilty Thursday by a Jackson County jury of second-degree murder and armed criminal action. He was accused of killing Cody M. Harter, a 23-year-old Missouri Air National Guard member from St. Joseph.

Before Harter’s death, Webb was convicted in a separate case of second-degree murder in 1981. He had been released from prison less than a year before he was accused of stabbing Harter during a disagreement on a highway in Lee’s Summit three years ago.

The killing appeared to stem from a dispute over a merge lane as Webb and Harter both drove along northbound Missouri 291 at the merge with Interstate 470, according to Webb’s statement to police in court documents.

At the time, Webb allegedly told police he and the driver had stopped there briefly over confusion about a merging lane. The other driver left his truck and Webb told him it was a merging lane, and the other driver did not seem mad, he told police in court documents.

Webb described the encounter as not a big deal during his interview with police, court documents say.

But a witness told police he saw a man matching Webb’s description take a swing at another man. The other man put both of his hands up in the air as he retreated, the witness said.

Responding officers found Harter laying face-down in a large pool of blood with a wound on his left side. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

On the day of the killing, Webb was arrested in Liberty with a knife in his pants pocket, according to prosecutors.

In the aftermath of his death, family described Harter as kindhearted and generous. He was a loadmaster with the Missouri Air National Guard who did a tour in Iraq, his mother Kerrie Harter, previously told The Star.

“He loved everyone,” she said at the time. “He would help anybody.”

Webb will be sentenced in Jackson County Circuit Court.

The Star’s Glenn E. Rice and Robert A. Cronkleton contributed to this report.

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