Feb. 25, 2019

A Jackson County judge has sentenced Joseph Wyatt, 30, to 40 years in a Missouri prison for the robbery and kidnapping of 82-year-old Billy Fowler, a series of crimes in March 2017 that also resulted in Independence Police Officer Tom Wagstaff severely injured by a gunshot, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced today.

In December, a judge found the defendant guilty of eight felony counts: Robbery in the First Degree, two counts of Armed Criminal Action. Burglary, Kidnapping, Resisting Arrest, Attempted Robbery, and Tampering with a Motor Vehicle.

Today, the judge sentenced Wyatt to 30 years on one Robbery conviction, and 15 years on the Kidnapping, Burglary 1st Degree and second Robbery 1st Degree conviciton, plus 4 years on Resisting Arrest and 7 years on Tampering With a Motor Vehicle. The judge set all those sentences to run concurrently. He also sentenced Wyatt to 5 years on each Armed Criminal Action conviction and set those to each run consecutively to the other charges for a total of 40 years.

Members of the Independence Police Deparatment were present in the courtroom for the sentencing, in support of Wagstaff. Michael Hunt, a Chief Trial Assistant in the Jackson County Prosecutors’ Office, told the court: “This was a brazen attack that the defendant must pay commiserate with the damage he inflicted.”