Kansas City man pleads guilty in Northland slaying in which victim was stabbed, set on fire

Kansas City man pleads guilty in Northland slaying in which victim was stabbed, set on fire

A Kansas City man has pleaded guilty to killing a 33-year-old man who was stabbed to death at a Gladstone apartment after a neighbor called 911 to report a fire in the building.

24-year-old Noah T. Cole is jailed on $1 million bond Since his arrest 15 months ago. Wednesday, Cole filled Clay County Circuit Court One count of second-degree murder in the slaying of Matthew Stauch, who died in November 2021.

As part of the plea agreement filed Wednesday, Clay County prosecutors will recommend that Cole serve 28 years in prison for the manslaughter conviction. Prosecutors agreed to drop three other pending felony charges of armed criminal action, arson and burglary.

On November 29, 2021, firefighters were dispatched to the London Towers apartment complex at 2505 NE Shady Lane after a man called 911 to report their apartment was filled with smoke.

The source of the fire was determined to be a neighboring unit. Upon entry, firefighters discovered Stauch, the resident, face down in a back bedroom. Neighbors were ordered to leave the building as the fire was put out.

Homicide detectives found apparent stab wounds to Stauch’s back and neck. It also appeared that Stauch was “set on fire,” according to charging documents, based on the pattern of burns on his clothes and the burns on his body.

Two days later, the autopsy was completed. It revealed that Stauch had been stabbed about 40 times with a small bladed instrument. His death has been called a genocide.

In addition to several valuables missing from his apartment, including a guitar signed by the cast of “Seinfeld,” Stauch’s car and cell phone were not found at the scene of the murder.

Detectives linked Cole to the murders through stolen vehicle tracking and witness reports of other violent crimes, including a separate fatal shooting in Kansas City. According to court documents, he was suspected of shoplifting where a shotgun was stolen from behind the counter, and detectives compared surveillance video to his driver’s license photo.

Items missing from Stauch’s apartment were recovered from Cole’s residence in the 6000 block of St. John Avenue in Kansas City when police executed a search warrant there. They also found tax papers and prescription bottles bearing Stauch’s name. Several knives were taken as evidence.

Cole is scheduled to be sentenced May 10 in Clay County Judge Shane T. Alexander.

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