(VANDALIA) — In September 2011, Baker was found guilty and given natural life sentences on one count of murder in the death of John Michael Mahon and one count of murder in the death of Debra Tish. Baker was also sentenced at that time to 30 years in prison with 3 years’ mandatory supervised released on the two counts of home invasion, one count for the home of Mahon and Tish and a second count for invasion of the home of Steve and Randi Krajefska.
To begin Monday’s re-sentencing, State’s Attorney Joshua Morrison did not call any witnesses, instead opting to leave the state’s evidence in aggravation to victim impact statements read by Mike Mahon’s daughter Melissa Mahon and by Tish’s niece LaTisha Paslay. For the defense evidence in mitigation, Public Defender William Starnes called just one witness, Clifford Baker, and presented 12 defense exhibits ranging from school report cards from work Baker that he completed while locked up as well as other classes completed. During cross examination, Morrison questioned Baker’s work while in prison to which Baker said he had 2 jobs. Morrison then asked if he had been fired from other, to which Baker responded he was fired from one because he was written up and sent to segregation for intimidation. During the state’s argument, Morrison said the fact that Baker shot his dog multiple times showed what Baker was capable of and summed up his argument by stating “I believe justice cries out for a life sentence.”
During defense arguments, Starnes explained that all his life, people have not been there for Baker, from his mom abandoning him to abuse at the hands of his father and comparing Baker to “a can being kicked down the road” and elaborated on that by saying, nobody was there for and helped Baker until the time he was locked up. Starnes went on to say that the progress and the schooling Baker has completed while locked up is proof that he can be rehabilitated and asked that the judge come back with a sentence of 25 years for each count to be served concurrently.
After the completion of arguments and a recess of a half hour, Judge Alan Lolie returned his judgment. Lolie after reviewing the mandate paragraph by paragraph and explaining whether Baker’s situation met each, Lolie entered his judgement on each count. On count one of murder in the death of John Michael Mahon, Lolie sentenced Baker to 37.5 years in prison with no good time and 3 years of mandatory supervised released after completion of sentence. On count two of murder in the death of Debra Tish, Lolie sentenced Baker to 37.5 years in prison with no good time and 3 years of mandatory supervised released after completion of sentence which is to be served consecutively to count one. On count five of the original case, in the home invasion of the Mahon-Tish residence, Lolie sentenced Baker to 10 years in prison with 50% to be served and three years mandatory supervised release. On count five of the original case, in the home invasion of the Krajefska residence, Lolie sentenced Baker to 10 years in prison with 50% to be served and three years mandatory supervised release. The sentences for counts five and six are to be served concurrent to each other, but consecutively to counts one and two meaning that Baker will serve 80 years in prison and is what Lolie described as a “de facto life sentence.”