Cove man out on bond for murder arrested for sexual assault
By LYNETTE SOWELL
A 23-year-old Copperas Cove man out on bond for a charge of murder in Bell County now finds himself behind bars again, this time for charges of sexual assault of a child.
Matthew Stoddard was arrested on January 9. According to the jail records, the arresting agency was the Coryell County Sheriff’s Office. However, when the Leader-Press contacted that office for more information and an arrest affidavit regarding Stoddard’s arrest, Chief Deputy Mark Wilcox stated in an email that Stoddard was arrested by the Texas Rangers and his case was not the sheriff’s office case.
A request for information from DPS/Texas Rangers’ office by the Leader-Press was not answered by press time Thursday.
Stoddard is presently in the Coryell County Jail on $185,000 bond, listed as being held for sexual assault of a child along with bond forfeiture for murder.
At the time of his arrest in 2017, Stoddard turned himself in to the Harker Heights police for an arrest warrant in connection with the murder of his girlfriend, 18-year-old Angelica Nicole Santiago, on July 10, 2016. Harker Heights police had responded to an apartment in the 1400 block of Hopi Trail in reference to a medical call on that date. According to a press release last spring, officers found both Stoddard and Santiago, who at the time lived together at that residence. Santiago had been fatally wounded by a gunshot, with initial belief that the wounds were self-inflicted.
After an investigation and subsequent review by the Bell County District Attorney’s Office, probable cause was developed to believe that Santiago had been murdered.
Stoddard was initially arraigned on March 9. by Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke who set bond at $1,000,000. At the time of his arrest on January 9, Stoddard had been out on bond.