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.

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