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Teen convicted in 2012 Joplin murder gets life in prison with po - KOAM TV 7

Teen convicted in 2012 Joplin murder gets life in prison with possibility of parole

Elijah Taylor Elijah Taylor
Marcus Stephens Marcus Stephens
Daniel D. Hartman Daniel D. Hartman
Cody E Stephens Cody E Stephens
Jonathan Taylor Jonathan Taylor
Updated April 15, 2014:  The teenager convicted of killing a Joplin man in a July 2012 robbery has been sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole.

Daniel Hartman and four other defendants were charged with robbing Jacob Wages, but a jury determined it was Hartman who pulled the trigger.

On Wednesday Hartman was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for 2nd degree murder.  He was also sentenced to life with the possibility of parole for a count of armed criminal action, and 15 years for 1st degree burglary.  The sentences are to run concurrently.


Updated March 7, 2014:  

A man charged in a Joplin burglary that ended in murder was sentenced today to 15-years in prison.

Cody Stephens is one of five defendants charged with robbing and killing Jacob Wages.

Stephens has been sentenced to 15-years for a charge of second degree murder, and five years for first degree burglary.  The sentences are to run concurrently, meaning the maximum amount of time he will spend in prison will be 15-years.

In July 2012 police found Wages, 23, dead in his home on South Pearl.

Police believe the five-men went into the home to rob it, and that Wages might have interrupted the burglary.



Updated February 11, 2014
:  An Oklahoma man pleads guilty to his role in a 2012 Joplin murder and burglary. The third of five suspects in the case of the shooting death of Jacob Wages has now reached a plea deal.

Elijah Taylor, 18 from Tulsa, Oklahoma, entered a guilty plea to both second-degree murder and burglary.

The agreement will cap Taylor's possible prison time to no more than 15 years.

Investigators say Taylor was among five young men who entered Wages home in July 2012. Authorities say the men were looking for drugs when the 23-year-old was shot and killed.

Last month another Tulsa man, Daniel Hartman, the presumed shooter, was found guilty of second-degree murder, armed criminal action and burglary. His sentencing is set for March 31.

Updated February 4, 2014 at 12:10 PM:  One of five defendants accused of robbing and killing a Joplin man in his home is sentenced for his role in the crime.

Authorities arrested Marcus Stephens in December 2012 on a fugitive warrant out of Joplin.  The now 18-year-old was the last of five suspects arrested for the killing of Jacob Wages in July 2012.

Joplin police say Stephens helped to steal a black box and that Wages may have interrupted the burglary.

Last week, Stephens testified in the Daniel Hartman trial, who a jury later convicted for the actual shooting of Wages.

Stephens claimed he saw Hartman with a gun before the crime but did not know that it was on him when they left to go to Wage's house.

On Monday a judge sentenced Stephens to five years for first degree burglary and 15 years for second degree murder.


Updated January 30, 2014 at 11:00 PM:  During Thursday's sentencing phase, the jury could not come to a decision on the penalty of life without parole for Daniel Hartman.

According to the judge, by law, the court had to vacate the first degree murder charge. It was changed to second degree murder. The armed criminal action charge was vacated. It was changed to armed criminal action in connection to murder in the second degree.

The charge of burglary in the first degree remained the same.

The sentencing phase started over, with the new verdict in mind around 8:30 PM.

Shortly before 10 PM the jury presented a final recommendation to the judge.

Jurors recommended a life sentence for the second degree murder charge, and life for the charge of armed criminal action. A recommendation of 15 years for the charge of burglary in the first degree was also made.

The charges leave open the possibility for parole.

The judge will decide at a later date whether those sentences would be served at the same time.

Updated January 30, 2014 at 6:00 PM:

Jurors have found 18-year-old Daniel Hartman guilty of 1st degree murder, armed criminal action and burglary. The verdict comes after about two and a half hours of deliberation.

Updated January 30, 2014 at 2:45 PM:  The prosecution and defense has rested in the trial of Daniel Hartman, the 18-year-old accused of killing 23-year-old Jacob Wages in 2012 during a robbery.

This morning, the defense called Marcus Stevens to the stand.  Stevens says he haw Hartman with a gun before they left, but didn't know that it was with him when they left to go to Wages home.  Stevens says he saw Hartman and another witness, Eli Taylor, both with handguns when they got back after the shooting occurred.

Updated January 29 at 4:00 PM:  It's day two in the trial for Daniel Hartman, the 18 year old accused of killing 23-year-old Jacob Wages in 2012 during a robbery.

Jurors were shown autopsy photos and heard from Dr. Carl Stacey.

Jurors also heard from Cody Stevens and shown a tape of Stevens walking through the scene with police.  Stevens previously agreed to a plea deal with the prosecutor.

Also taking the stand was Brittany Copeland, the girlfriend of Jonathan JT Taylor's.  Like Stevens, Taylor's also agreed to a plea deal with the prosecutor.  Copeland testified that Hartman told her he shot Wages.

Updated January 28, 2014 at 4:35:  The trial is underway for a man charged with the death of a Joplin man.

Following jury selection both the prosecution and defense had their opening arguments.

Prosecutors say in July 2012, police found 23-year-old Jacob Wages dead in his home on South Pearl.  They believe Daniel Hartman, 18, shot and killed Wages during a robbery after Wages confronted him.  Four others were involved in the incident.

The defense says the testimony of the others involved can not be trusted because they took deals for less time.  Hartman is the only one not admitting guilt.

Updated January 28, 2014 at 2:07 PM:  The jury has been selected for one of the men charged in a Joplin burglary that ended in murder.

In July 2012, police found 23-year-old Jacob Wages dead in his home on South Pearl.  Police believe Daniel Hartman shot and killed Wages during a robbery after Wages confronted him.

Four others are believed to be involved.  Cody Stephens and Jonathan "JT" Taylor have already reached plea deals with prosecutors.


Jury selection in Hartman's trial ended at about 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.  Seven men and five women were selected.

Updated December 6, 2013:  A man charged in a Joplin burglary that ended in murder enters a "guilty" plea and takes a plea deal.

Cody Stephens is one of the five defendants accused of robbing and killing Jacob Wages.

Stephens had originally entered a not guilty plea.  Today, in Jasper County court, Stephens plead guilty to second degree murder and burglary.

In July 2012, police found 23-year-old Wages dead in his home on South Pearl.  Police believe the men went into the home to rob it and Wages may have interrupted the burglary.

A sentencing hearing for Stephens, has been scheduled for March 2014.

Jonathan "JT" Taylor, also a suspect in the murder, is scheduled to appear in court on December 11, 2013.

Updated November 21, 2013:  A Four State man is arraigned in court, charged with the robbery of a Joplin liquor store.

A Joplin man already charged with murder is now officially facing charges of robbery and armed criminal action.

Jonathan "JT" Taylor appeared by video before Judge Copeland on Thursday.  He was read his new charges of robbery and armed criminal action.

Taylor had previously been arrested and bonded out for the July 2012 burglary and shooting death of Jacob Wages in Joplin.

A warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear in court.

Since then Taylor was identified as a suspect in an armed robbery at Joplin's Discount Liquor Store on West 7th Street.

A tip led police them to find Taylor at a Kansas City motel where he was arrested.

His next court date is scheduled for December 11.

Updated November 12, 2013:  NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE JOPLIN POLICE DEPARTMENT


Saturday, November 9, 2013 at approximately 4:00 p.m., Jonathan "JT" Taylor, was arrested from a motel room in Kansas City, MO. 

Jasper County Sheriff's Office Detectives received information of Taylor staying in the motel.  Detectives contacted Kansas City Police Department and they located and arrested Taylor.

Taylor is currently in custody in the Clay County Detention Center awaiting transport to Jasper County.

# # #


Updated November 8, 2013 at 2:45 PM:  Authorities have arrested a 15 year old male in connection with a robbery at the Discount Liquor store on West 7th Street in Joplin on November 5.

Authorities are searching for a second suspect, Jonathan "JT" Taylor, 20 of Joplin.  Taylor is a suspect in a July 2012 murder and is considered armed and extremely dangerous.

NEWS RELEASE ISSUED BY THE JASPER COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE

Arrest made on Robbery from November 5th, 2013.

On Nov.7th, Jasper County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a 15 year old juvenile male for Robbery in Joplin and are currently attempting to locate a second man in connection with the Armed Robbery that occurred on Nov. 5th, 2013 at the Discount Liquor store on West 7th st. in Joplin, Mo.

The Jasper County Sheriff's Office is looking for Jonathan "JT" Taylor, 20, of Joplin.  Taylor is currently wanted on a Burglary 11st Degree warrant, Murder 22nd Degree from Jasper County and is a suspect in the armed robbery.  Taylor is considered armed and extremely dangerous.

The investigation into this incident will continue.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Taylor, please call the Jasper County Sheriff's Office Detective division at 417-358-8177 or the TIPS line at 417-781-TIPS (8477).

# # #

Updated November 5, 2013 at 5:22 PM:  Police are asking for your help in locating two men believed to be connected to an armed robbery outside Joplin this afternoon.

It happened at the Discount Liquor store on Seventh Street, near Schifferdecker Golf Course.  Police say two men came into the store, and at least one of the men was armed with a gun.  

The suspects got away with an undisclosed amount of money.  No one was hurt during the incident.


"We've had reports of somebody possibly saw a vehicle, we're not sure if it's related.  We did not see any vehicles in the lot when we arrived, and witnesses we have say they weren't sure if any vehicles were involved," says Captain Derek Walrod with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

Anyone with information on the location of the suspects is asked to call the Jasper County Sheriff's Office.

Updated November 5, 2013 at 12:50 PM: Crime tape surrounds the Discount Liquor store, near Schifferdecker Golf Course in Joplin, where Jasper County deputies responded to a call of an armed robbery.

Authorities two suspects took an undisclosed amount of money and are being sought.

Updated November 5, 2013 at 12:29 PM:  An official with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that they are working an armed robbery at a liquor store on west 7th Street near Black Cat Road.

Updated August 7, 2012:  Authorities say Daniel Hartman is now in custody.  Authorities say Hartman and four other suspects were involved in the robbery of a Joplin home that resulted in the murder of the resident on July 6.

Law enforcement says they received a tip that Hartman was in Rolling Fork, Mississippi.  Hartman was arrested without incident on Tuesday August 6 by the U.S. Marshall Service and Mississippi State Police.

Hartman is charged with the first degree murder of Jacob Wages and is awaiting extradition back to Missouri.

Two of the men involved have already plead not guilty to charges of burglary and second degree murder.  

Cody Stephens, 20 of Parsons, and Jonathan Taylor, 19 of Joplin, were previously arraigned on first degree burglary and second degree murder charges with bonds set at $100,000, plus an additional $25,000 cash.

A 16 year old is also in custody, but another juvenile suspect is still being sought in the case.

Authorities say the five suspects entered a home in the 1900 block of South Pearl in Joplin on July 6 with the intent to steal.  Authorities say Daniel Hartman, 17 of Tulsa, then shot and killed a resident of the home, Jacob Wages, 23, after being confronted by him.  Authorities think Hartman and the others than searched the house looking for items and stole an assault rifle.

Authorities believe Stephens and Taylor stole a black box from the home.  They're not saying what was inside the box.

Detectives say the burglary took place during the murder of Jacobs.

Anyone with information regarding the murder and burglary are asked to call their local law enforcement or call Heartland Crime Stoppers - 417-782-8479.

The Tri State Major Case Squad has been activated for this incident.

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