WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — One of two defendants in a 2020 murder on Taylor Street has taken a plea deal for a 45-year prison term.
Cody Stage pleaded in 78th District Court this morning. He also pleaded to a burglary charge for a 2-year sentence which will be served concurrently to his murder sentence, and a third charge of assault was dropped.
Stage and Raymond Alaniz were arrested several days after the shooting of Donald Best on Nov. 4, 2020. Their arrests came after police investigated a building burglary in which a dirt bike and other items were taken.
Police said both men admit they went to Best’s home to rob him after Stage had set up the sale of a motorcycle, and Stage said the robbery went bad. According to police, each said they stayed in the car while the other got out and fired the shots.
After his arrest November 16 that year, Stage bonded out on a lower bond with the requirement to wear an ankle monitor. Then he fled to Oklahoma June 2, 2021, after cutting the monitor off and Crime Stoppers posted a $1,000 reward for information on his whereabouts.
He was located in Guthrie a few days later by u.S. Marshals. A standoff ensued, in which they said he came out several times with a gun. After more than an hour of trying to convince him to surrender, he was forced out with tear gas.
A woman in the house was charged with harboring a fugitive.
Alaniz remains jailed on $1 million bond and has a court hearing March 3.