Missouri man admits to killing daughter’s ex-boyfriend

MOUNT VERNON, Mo. – A southwest Missouri man has pleaded guilty to fatally shooting his daughter’s ex-boyfriend after a squabble about an outdoor patio table and grill.

The Joplin Globe reports that 53-year-old Robert Waite Jr., of Carthage, accepted a plea offer Tuesday in which he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the August 2015 killing of 32-year-old Kevin Stafford. Waite initially was charged with first-degree murder, which would have carried a life sentence.

Investigators believe Waite was upset that Stafford had called police to report that his ex-girlfriend had taken the table and grill. After an officer contacted her, she returned the items.

The shooting happened when Mills’ father learned what happened and drove about 30 miles (about 50 kilometers) to Mount Vernon from Carthage to confront Stafford.

Sentencing is set for March 5.