Man charged with murder of girlfriend pleaded guilty

Posted at 3:56 PM, Mar 09, 2017
and last updated 2018-06-21 15:41:17-04

The Harker Heights Police Department said a man pleaded guilty for murdering his girlfriend in 2016.

Harker Heights Police said Matthew Stoddard pleaded guilty in open court on Thursday. He has been sentenced for 25 years.

In March 2017, Stoddard turned himself into police in connection with the murder that happened in 2016. 

Stoddard is charged with the murder of Angelica Santiago, 18. Stoddard is the son of a Copperas Cove patrol lieutenant.

Harker Heights police responded to an apartment on the 1400 block of Hopi Trail on Jul 10, 2016, on a medical call. 

The arrest affidavit said that Officer Valdez found Stoddard in the bathroom. Stoddard told the officer that his girlfriend was in the bathroom. 

The officer entered the bathroom and found Santiago on the bathroom floor in a large pool of blood. The officer said that there was a firearm a few feet away from her body. 

Stoddard told police that he was in the bathroom when his girlfriend grabbed the gun, put it to her head and shot herself. 

However, the investigation and review from the Bell County District Attorney's Office found that there was probable cause that a murder had occurred. Santiago had suffered two gunshot wounds to the head.

On March 9, 2017, Stoddard was arraigned and had a $1 million bond.

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