Carthage man pleads guilty in August 2020 homicide trial

Regional News

CARTHAGE, Mo. — A Carthage man pleads guilty to a shooting that left one man dead and his estranged wife wounded.

30-year-old Lane Stephens plead guilty to second-degree murder and first-degree robbery. Six charges — including first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action — were dropped.

As part of the plea deal, he was sentenced to life in prison for murder — and 10-years in prison for the robbery. Those sentences will run concurrently.

This case goes back to August 1st of 2020 when police were called to the “Quality Inn and Suites” in Carthage for reports of shots fired.

When they arrived, they found Toni Stephens and Don Pierce both suffering from gunshot wounds.

Pierce was pronounced dead at the scene — Stephens was treated for her injuries at a local hospital. Lane Stephens was arrested the next day at a church in Lamar.

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