A man who threw explosives at a Joplin Police officer has entered a plea bargain. 34-year-old Keith Wald, of Joplin, plead guilty to second degree assault in Jasper County Court on Monday. As a part of the plea bargain, four other counts were waived.
Wald was sentenced to a term of ten years in prison for a second degree assault charge, a Class B felony. He will first go to an Institutional Treatment Center for 120 days before the court reviews his record and decides whether or not he should be released to probation or serve the balance of his sentence.
You’ll remember that on August 7, 2017, around 3:28 a.m., a Joplin Police officer initiated a traffic stop at 4th and Sergeant on a truck that was pulling a trailer without any lights. Wald, who was driving the truck, threw an explosive out of his window when the officer approached the vehicle, causing it to explode near the officer. The officers immediately began pursuing the truck.
As the pursuit went on, the passenger, 22-year-old Nathan Felton, of Neosho, threw another explosive from his window, also exploding near the officer. One police car chasing the two lost control and hit a tree at Lone Elm and Surrey streets. The suspects were later found in a home outside of city limits after police lost sight of the truck on Highway 400 in Cherokee County, Kansas. Fortunately, no officers were injured.
Both men had been charged with second degree assault on law enforcement, armed criminal action, felony resisting arrest and unlawful possession of an illegal weapon.
Felton will be in court May 22nd.