Douglas County District Attorney Charles Branson announces that yesterday afternoon a jury convicted Lawrence resident John Timothy Baker, 33, of robbery.
On Sunday, January 8, 2017 at approximately 9:30 p.m., the victim was walking home from work when a black pickup truck approached him and asked him for directions. The truck passenger was later identified as Baker. The victim was suspicious and attempted to read the license plate on the truck. This angered Baker who pulled out a weapon that appeared to be a shotgun, pointed it at the victim, demanded his belongings and threatened to shoot him. The victim gave Baker his iPhone, his wallet that contained a debit card, his driver’s license and $40 cash and his server’s apron that contained approximately $52 cash. Baker took the belongings, forced the victim to lie on the ground and again threatened to shoot him if he got up. Baker and the driver drove away and the victim summoned help when he lost sight of the truck.
When Detectives with the Lawrence Police Department began to investigate the case, they were quickly able to identify the suspect vehicle, driver and Baker. The suspected driver, Lawrence resident Stacey N. Ballard, 24, is currently facing an aggravated robbery charge in Douglas County Case 2017CR57. That case is set for hearing on May 18 at 2:00 p.m. in Division Five. Ballard is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Charges are merely allegations of criminal conduct.
Baker’s jury trial began in the Division Five courtroom on Monday, May 8 with jury selection and opening arguments were delivered at 1:30 p.m. The case continued Tuesday morning and closing arguments were delivered later that day, at about 11:30 a.m. The jury deliberated for approximately two hours before delivering its verdict.
Baker faces 31-136 months in prison for the robbery conviction. His actual sentence will depend on his prior criminal history. The Court revoked his bond, ordered a pre-sentence investigation be completed and scheduled him to be sentenced on June 29 at 10:30 a.m.
The Honorable Paula B. Martin presided over the case. It was investigated by the Lawrence Police Department and it was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Kathleen Britton.
*Rule 226 - Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct
3.6 Advocate: Trial Publicity
3.8 Advocate: Special Responsibilities of a Prosecutor