Bond set at $2 million for teen charged with murder

Bond was set at $2million on Thursday for a 15-year-old Farina male who was arrested on Wednesday for the murder of two Loogootee residents in their home

At his first court appearance, Clifford W. Baker was formally charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Fayette County State's Attorney Stephen Friedel filed the charges just before Thursday's mid-morning hearing.

He is charged with murdering John Michael Mahon, 60, and Debra J. Tish, 53.

Baker held his head down and cried as Judge William Becker read the charges and listed the possible penalties for first-degree murder.

He cried and appeared to say that he had "nothing to say" when Becker asked if he wished to make any comments.

Friedel told Becker that Baker entered a home in Loogootee early Wednesday morning, and when a female in the home awoke to find him there, Baker, brandishing a knife, struck her in the face, cutting her.

Friedel said Baker then fled from the home, and the female called police, at 3:30 a.m., identifying the youth as her attacker.

Friedel said a deputy responded to the scene and talked to the female and her husband, then, as a matter of concern for other residents in the neighborhood, checked the home next door.

He found the bodies of Mahon and Tish at that time.

He then went to Baker's residence and found Baker there, at which time the deputy tasered him and took him into custody.

Friedel told Becker that the youth had "indicated" that he had been inside both residences, and that he had shot the two individuals.

The prosecution is alleging that Baker shot Mahon four times with an "8mm high-powered rifle" that he found in the residence, and shot Tish three times with that rifle and once with a .22-caliber rifle.

Becker explained to Baker that the possible sentences for first-degree murder range from "20 years to potentially death, and anything in between."

Baker was taken to the Madison County Juvenile Detention Center after being arrested on Wednesday, and was returned to the center after Thursday's hearing.

Becker appointed Fayette County Public Defender Ed Potter to represent Baker, and Baker's appearance in court with his attorney is set for 10:30 a.m. on Monday.

Clifford W. Baker

Clifford W. Baker

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