Authorities have charged a Pleasant Hill man in last weekend’s roadside stabbing death in Lee’s Summit.
Nicholas M. Webb, 59, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder and armed criminal action. He could face 85 years in prison if convicted on the murder charge. Jackson County prosecutors asked that he be held on a bond of $250,000.
In a court document, Lee’s Summit Police say the apparent road-rage incident happened just before 7:30 last Saturday night where northbound Missouri 291 flows into northbound Interstate 470 near Colbern Road.
Police had repeatedly asked witnesses to step forward, and several did, describing Webb’s age and appearance, his clothing and even his goatee. One described a truck and a car stopped in a lane of traffic, and several saw both drivers out of their vehicles. One described a man taking a swing at the victim, 23-year-old Cody M. Harter. One reported seeing Harter being shoved. At least two described Harter backing up with his hands in the air.
The witness who saw the swing pulled off the road to call police and then saw a gray Mitsubishi Lancer race past to the north. That car was later connected to Webb.
Harter had been stabbed 4 inches deep in the heart and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police got a confidential tip that pointed them toward Webb – and they found that less than two hours after the stabbing he was arrested in Clay County on charges of driving under the influence and possession of drugs. Lee’s Summit Police went to his home Wednesday and took him into custody. Among the things he had on him when police searched him was a 4-inch Buck knife.
Webb told police he had been with friends on Saturday and then in the early evening drove to Excelsior Springs and passed north through the M-291/I-470 area but that nothing happened.
Police told him witnesses said otherwise, and then he told a different story: He said he might have been trying to pass the truck. He said that driver had yelled at him “Hey, this is a merging lane” and he yelled back, “All right, dude” and that both drivers slowed, then stopped and got out out of their vehicles. He said the driver confronted him and he responded “OK” and got back in his car. He said the incident didn’t seem like a big deal, and he said he didn’t kill Harter.
In 1981, Webb was sentenced to 35 years in prison in Missouri after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in connection with a killing in 1980.