WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — A murder charge against a man will be reduced to a manslaughter charge as part of a plea deal on that and other charges.
William David Starnes has been jailed on a $500,000 bond since 2018 for the alleged murder of a good Samaritan who had come to the aid of the suspect’s wife, who was being beaten. The warrant was served in jail, where he was being held for a previous assault of a family member.
On April 23, 2018, Wichita Falls Police said Starnes was beating his wife on Burkburnett Road after first trying to run her down with his truck.
Air Force veteran William Stephens, 64, known to family and friends as “Wild Bill”, came to the woman’s aid, and police said Starnes knocked him unconscious with a board.
Stephens died a few days later from a severe brain injury. Family said he was an organ donor, and thus, he may have saved other lives with his compassion. They said the Wisconsin native decided to stay in Wichita Falls after retirement because he liked it so much here.
Starnes’ pending plea agreement, which is set for court Friday, September 29, also settles other pending cases, including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon from 2017 and two assault of a family member charges from 2018.
His criminal record includes numerous arrests and convictions for assault, retaliation and terroristic threat. He also has two convictions for assault of an officer.