The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

December 8, 2012

Teen wanted in connection with Joplin murder being held in Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. — A 17-year-old wanted in connection with a Joplin murder is now being held in the Tulsa County Jail after turning himself in Saturday, according to Sgt. Thaddeus Espy, of the Tulsa Police Department.

Marcus Dwayne Stephens, of Tulsa, who also goes by the name Marcus Hill, is being held as a fugitive from justice, according to Espy.

“Stephens came to the county jail to turn himself in earlier this evening,” Espy said Saturday.

Stephens is one of five suspects linked to the July 6 murder of 23-year-old Jacob A. Wages at 1912 S. Pearl Ave. Wages was found dead in his home after an apparent burglary of drugs and money that turned deadly, according to Joplin police.

Daniel Hartman, 17, has been has been charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action and first-degree burglary in the death of Wages. Three others — Jonathan J. Taylor, 19; Cody E. Stephens, 20; and Elijah Taylor, now 17, have all been charged with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary in the case.

Joplin police previously said a fifth suspect, a juvenile from Tulsa, remained at large.

Elijah Taylor testified during a preliminary hearing on Nov. 6 that the group went to Wages’ home to rob him of $5,000 in cash and a pound of Ecstasy pills. In his testimony, Elijah Taylor said: “Cody kicked in the door, and we went in looking for a black box.”

He said Wages was lying on a bed in his bedroom when the four intruders came through the door while another person waited in the car.

“Jacob woke up and he got shot,” Taylor said.

“Who shot him?” Assistant Prosecutor Theresa Kenney asked.

“Daniel,” Taylor said referring to Hartman.

Defense attorney William Fleischaker then asked what happened when they broke in. Taylor said Wages got up from the bed and appeared to stretch just before he was shot.

“He just stretched and got killed,” he said.

Taylor said during the hearing that Wages had a gun in his hands, but Hartman shot him with a handgun that Hartman pulled from his waistband, and Wages fell to the floor. He denied knowing before the break-in that Hartman was in possession of a gun. He said when Hartman shot Wages, they all fled the house.

Hartman was also apprehended in the Tulsa area after the shooting.

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