|Polk County Enterprise - Local News
Stories Added - January 27, 2008 - February 3, 2008
Copyright 2008 - Polk County Publishing Company
Man handed 12-year sentence for attack on deputy Guilty plea also entered in death threat against narcotics lieutenant
Polk County Enterprise - February 2008
LIVINGSTON — An El Campo man pleaded guilty to terroristic threat to interfere with governmental activities in connection with a racially motivated attack on a Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy.
Bill Baker, 36, a white male, was sentenced to 12 years in prison on the second degree felony charge.
Assistant District Attorney Joe Martin said that Baker’s father called 911 from his Goodrich residence because he was having problems with his son.
When Sgt. William Jerry arrived at the residence, Baker began a tirade of racial slurs as he picked up a logging chain and headed towards Sgt. Jerry.
“He told me ‘I’m going to rope me a (racial epithet)’ and he was swinging that chain,” Jerry said after the guilty plea was entered.
Martin added that the patrol car video system recorded the threats from Baker although the ensuing physical altercation happened out of the camera’s range.
At one point Baker begins saying they were going to box, so Jerry tells him to come on and box in an effort to get him to put down the chain, Martin said.
Baker struck Sgt. Jerry many times with his fists during the fight that lasted several minutes while Jerry defended himself until additional officers arrived.
“I heard the sirens getting closer and closer and it was my favorite sound. It’s like music,” Jerry said. “When those guys got there, they’re not asking any questions. They just get in the fight. I’ve got on green and they’re on my side.”
Sgt. Jerry is a patrol supervisor in command of five other deputies.
Martin said he discussed the plea agreement with Sgt. Jerry prior to accepting it.
Baker was originally indicted on a first degree felony charge of aggravated assault on a police officer and resisting arrest with a deadly weapon, a third degree felony, Martin said.
The charges were enhanced one level because Baker has a previous conviction for burglary of a motor vehicle in 1991, which was then a felony charge, in addition to other criminal charges.
The aggravated assault on a peace officer would carry a minimum sentence of 15 years so prosecutors agreed to the 12 years in exchange for saving the county the expense of a jury trial.
Threat brings 20-year sentence
Prosecutors also accepted a guilty plea in exchange for a 20 year sentence for Michael Baker, charged with retaliation for making threats against Lt. Andy Lowrie and his family.
Michael Baker had received a 10-year sentence for delivery of a controlled substance on Aug. 29. The case was handled by Lowrie back in March, Martin said.
Michael Baker also had three previous convictions for assault with a deadly weapon, assault with bodily injury on a peace officer and felony in possession of a firearm in Oklahoma, Martin said. That criminal history enhanced the drug charge to a habitual offender status with a punishment range of 25 years to life.
He pleaded guilty for a 10-year sentence on Aug. 29, Martin said.
“Unbeknownst to me, on Aug. 13 he had gotten mad in the jail and when they went to restrain him he saw Andy Lowrie. He told Andy, ‘when I get out I’m going to kill you, your wife, and your kids,’” Martin said.
Since Baker knows Andy, lives nearby and knows the children, officials pursued the case as a serious threat.
“We feel real good about getting that guy off the street,” Martin said. “Hopefully he won’t get parole very easy and he will be away long enough to get rid of that anger.”
In district court Monday attorneys will select a jury for a case against a 79-year-old man facing a narcotics charge.