McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

September 20, 2008

Baker cops a plea in murder

A Texas man who opted not to face a Pittsburg County jury on a charge of first-degree murder has been sentenced to life in prison.

Clint Edward Baker, 33 of Crockett, Texas, walked into a Pittsburg County District Courtroom on Thursday and pleaded no contest to the murder charge he faced in the brutal slaying of Todd Rich.

Rich’s body had been found on Krebs Lake Road area in March 2007.

He had been beaten and his throat had been cut, according to court documents. Both Rich and Baker were truck drivers.

After Baker pleaded “no contest” to the crime, Associate District Judge James Bland sentenced him to life in prison, based on a plea agreement with District 18 District Attorney Jim Bob Miller’s office.

By making the plea, Baker avoided the possibility of being sentenced to death by lethal injection if he had been convicted of the murder.

Prosecutors had filed a bill of particulars serving notice they intended to seek the death penalty in the case. Bland dismissed the bill of particulars during the plea hearing on a motion from the district attorney’s office.

Baker now faces the possibility of someday winning parole from prison — since he also avoided a possible sentence of life without the parole if had been convicted by a jury.

The body of Rich, of California, had been found on the night of March, 17, 2007, according to an affidavit filed in the case by Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Agent John Jones.

Rich’s battered, bloody body had been left on the road, according to investigators. He had been 42 at the time of the murder.

During the plea hearing, First Assistant District Attorney Richard Hull and Wade Dodson represented the state.

Baker appeared with attorney Jeff Belote. Attorneys Jeremy Beaver and Belote have represented Baker during pre-trial hearings.

Contact James Beaty at

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Justice Dept. Broadening Criteria for Clemency Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Biden: Russia Must Stop Talking, Start Acting David Moyes Out As Manchester United Manager Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Iowa College Finds Beauty in Bulldogs High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.