Judge considers Baker’s request to lower sentence

A judge has agreed to consider a request for a lower sentence filed by a Loogootee man who murdered two of his neighbors while he was a teen.
At the end of a brief hearing last week in Fayette County Circuit Court, Judge Allan Lolie said that he would take under advisement Clifford W. Baker’s request to reconsider his request.
Baker, 23, was convicted in October 2011 of fatally shooting neighbors John Michael “Mike” Mahon and Debra Tish while they slept in their Loogootee home in the early morning hours of Aug. 4, 2010.
Baker, who was 15 years old at the time of the murders, was initially sentenced to life in prison on the murder charges, and was given three 30-year sentences on convictions for home invasion.
The case was sent back to Fayette County Circuit Court for resentencing by a panel of appellate court judges, who ruled that the mandatory imposition of a life sentence without parole for a person under the age of 18 violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.
In April of last year, Lolie sentenced Baker to 37½ years for each of the murders and 10 years for two counts of home invasion.
In May of this year, Baker’s handwritten motion seeking reconsideration of his sentence was filed in Fayette County Circuit Court.
Baker states he was filing the motion “due to his public defender, Mr. (William) Starnes, not contacting him and for not filing a motion to reconsider (the) sentence.
“Mr. Baker researched case law to support that 85 years is an unconstitutional sentence and Mr. Baker’s public defender failed to act upon the issue,” Baker’s motion states.
“Mr. Baker realizes that 30 days has elapsed since sentencing date and that’s due to (the) public defender not contacting Mr. Baker or acting on information Mr. Baker gave him to aid in his defense.”

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