A man who served time for stabbing one woman, then convicted for murdering another last year, was sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
On Sept. 20, William H. Baker, 50, of Indian Head, Md., was sentenced to life by Judge Joseph J. Ellis, following his guilty plea to the first-degree murder of Elizabeth D. Thompson of Colonial Beach. Thompson was 46 years old at the time of the incident on Oct. 3, 2012 at the Beachgate Inn.
Breaking down the hotel room door, Baker was in search of Thompson who was living at the Beachgate Inn. Before arriving at the room, Baker accused Thompson of seeing someone else and threatened her.
Samuel Muse was in the room with Thompson when Baker broke in. He began to “tussle” with Muse, said Commonwealth Attorney Julia Sichol, of Westmoreland County. Thompson was able to make her way outside of the room screaming for help. But Baker caught Thompson in the parking lot and began beating on her.
Muse followed the two outside and tackled Baker off of Thompson. In the end, Baker found his way back to Thompson, pulled out his knife and stabbed her repeatedly. Sichol said witnesses saw Baker flee the scene after cleaning off his knife.
The two began dating after Baker was released from jail in April, after serving time for two convictions, said Sichol.
Baker had been previously convicted in 1997 for stabbing the mother of his children. She was stabbed 11 times before her 13-year-old daughter stabbed him. Baker was sentenced to 25 years in jail for the attack, but was released early on parole.
He was convicted again after he was caught driving while impaired by alcohol. His parole status was revoked and he was incarcerated again until his release on April 27, 2012. Months later he killed Thompson resulting in the underlying charge of first-degree murder.
Sichol said Thompson’s children testified about the impact of their mother’s death and her presence in their lives. Three of the defendant’s family members testified that he loved Thompson, and they had not seen him act violently with her in the past.
The prosecutor said she asked for a life sentence based on the crime.
“I started my argument by telling the judge that the court often says that good people do bad things, but that this was not the case in this situation,” Sichol said.
Sichol did not take action against Baker on the charges of breaking and entering with a deadly weapon after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in June.Last Friday, Judge Ellis reviewed the pre-sentence report before making his decision. Jan Smith and Chris Robison represented Baker in the case.“We are disappointed with the court’s decision in Mr. Baker’s case,” Robison said. “This entire case is extremely tragic because in the end everybody involved suffered a loss.”