For Immediate Release:
July 16, 2019
Defendant Donald E. Nussbaum pleaded guilty on July 15, 2019 to one count Robbery in the First Degree and one count Armed Criminal Action for the 2017 robbery of Billy Fowler. These events lead to the shooting of Independence Police Officer Thomas Wagstaff, who survived the episode but medically retired from law enforcement shortly thereafter.
Defendant admitted to driving his co-defendants to Billy Fowler’s home on March 29, 2017 with the intent to commit a robbery. Defendant, the son of the victim’s girlfriend, was aware of the plans to tie up the victim and obtain the combination to a safe. Defendant pleaded guilty to the A Felony Robbery in the First Degree and the Unclassified Felony of Armed Criminal Action.
The victims, Billy Fowler and Officer Wagstaff waived their appearances at yesterday’s hearing. Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker noted this is a reminder of dangers that can await law enforcement in the performance of their duties in protecting victims like Billy Fowler. Peters Baker also noted her thanks we have Officer Wagstaff still with us.
Sentencing is set for September 23, 2019 at 9:00am in Division 17 of the Jackson County Circuit Court in Independence, Missouri.
For additional information, contact:
Jared D. Bustamante
Assistant Prosecuting Attorney
Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office
Jean Peters Baker, Prosecutor