Former Freeland pizzaman loses appeal of murder conviction

A man who once worked in the Antarctic and owned a Freeland pizza joint will remain in prison for killing his wife.

This week a state Court of Appeals dismissed a personal restrain petition filed by Robert “Al” Baker, a 67-year-old former Greenbank resident.

Baker had challenged his conviction and sentence for the 2012 murder of Kathie Baker based on an allegation of ineffective assistance of counsel.

The order dismissing the petition outlines each of Baker’s arguments and explains why they don’t amount to ineffective assistance from his attorney, Tom Pacher. It notes the “overwhelming evidence” of Baker’s guilt. It states that Baker failed to show what the attorney could have done to change the outcome of the trial.

Investigators believe that Baker likely killed his wife in their bed by hitting her in the head, possible with a hammer that was found in the trash with hair stuck to it. Officers found bloody drag marks across the Greenbank home and a blood-stained mattress. Kathie Baker’s body was discovered wrapped in a tarp in a ravine on the couple’s property.

Baker repeatedly lied to investigators and had no alibi.

Baker’s motive, the prosecution argued, was that he didn’t want his wife to be at the home when his girlfriend was visiting.

A jury convicted Baker of murder in the first degree with aggravating factors.

The judge gave him an exceptional sentence of 52 years in prison.

File photo
                                Convicted murderer Robert “Al” Baker lost his personal restrain petition with the state Court of Appeals.

File photo Convicted murderer Robert “Al” Baker lost his personal restrain petition with the state Court of Appeals.

More in News

Advisory Board holding public hearing on draft short-term rental ordinance

What rules should apply to homeowners who rent out houses, rooms or… Continue reading

Island County seeking District 1 applicants for planning commission

The Island County Board of Commissioners is seeking applicants from District 1,… Continue reading

Whidbey Community Foundation Receives $10K for census work

Whidbey Community Foundation received $10,000 in funding from the Washington Census Equity… Continue reading

WICA announces auditions for 20th season

The 2019-20 season marks Whidbey Island Center for the Arts’ 20th theater… Continue reading

Hands off the baby seals

Advocates for marine mammals are making their annual pitch to beach watchers… Continue reading

Former bank employee sentenced for theft

A former employee at an Oak Harbor bank was sentenced to jail… Continue reading

Commission OKs changes to fall bear-hunting rules

The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission approved changes to the fall bear-hunting… Continue reading

Earthquake felt on Whidbey Island

People across Whidbey Island were awakened by an earthquake early Friday morning.… Continue reading

Conservation District looks at ‘rates and charges’ system

Whidbey Island Conservation District officials are considering going to a different kind… Continue reading

Most Read