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Judge again rules teen fit to stand trial for murder

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Request to suppress confession again denied

By Rich Bauer, Managing Editor

A judge ruled has ruled for the second time that a Loogootee teen charged with murder is fit to stand trial.

At a hearing in Fayette County Circuit Court on Thursday afternoon, Judge Michael McHaney denied a motion by attorneys for Clifford Baker to reconsider an earlier ruling on Baker's fitness for trial.

McHaney also denied a motion by Baker's attorneys to reconsider his earlier ruling to allow into evidence a videotaped confession made several hours after Baker, who was 15 at the time, allegedly murdered Mike Mahon and Deb Tish in their Loogootee home.

Early Friday morning, in a hearing that included a telephone conference, Fayette County State's Attorney Stephen Friedel questioned a expert witness for the defense, Dr. Jonathon Lipman, a forensic pharmacologist.

A pretrial hearing has been set for 9 a.m. next Wednesday, and the trial is set to begin with jury selection on Tuesday, May 31.