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West Augusta rapist is convicted on all counts

Judge sentences man to maximum sentence

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The man who terrorized women living in west Augusta apartment complexes in the summer of 2008 was convicted of all counts Thursday and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.



It took a Richmond County Superior Court jury only about an hour Thursday afternoon to decide Jared U. Baxter, 31, was guilty of nine charges of burglary, terroristic threats, rape, kidnapping and peeping Tom.

According to witnesses who testified this week, Baxter broke into the homes of three women who lived in apartment complexes off of Stevens Creek Road in the summer of 2008. Two of the women were able to fight off Baxter and escape. The third woman, faced with a masked man armed with a knife, was raped.

The three women described the fear they faced when attacked and the fear they still live with every day. They asked the judge to impose the maximum sentence possible. "He's never going to change," one of the victims said.

Judge Sheryl B. Jolly sentenced Baxter to the maximum possible for each crime and ordered the sentences to run consecutively for a total of life in prison without parole plus 100 years.

Baxter testified in his own defense Thursday and denied attacking the women. He admitted that he was peeping into an apartment in the early morning hours of July 17, 2008, when Richmond County Sheriff officers caught him in the act.

While Baxter described that incident as an accidental encounter with a partially open window blind, he couldn't explain how he happened to videotape 38 to 40 women at the moment when they were naked. The videos were found on Baxter's computer and camera.

"I never sat outside anyone's window," Baxter insisted.

In his closing statement, Assistant District Attorney Hank Syms painted a different picture of Baxter's habits.

Baxter got a thrill out of getting away with peeping at women, but eventually his behavior had to escalate so he could get the same high, Syms said. Baxter started attacking the women he spied on, Syms said.

Defense attorney Richard Allen argued to the jury that an alibi witness cleared Baxter of the rape.

And a second defense witness testified he was with Baxter within minutes of one of the other attacks, Allen said.

Allen tried to convince the jury that the state's case had too many holes -- no eye witness identification, no DNA, no fingerprints.

"There's just too much missing."

But Syms reminded the jury that the woman who was raped testified she knew it was Baxter.

"Those eyes were burned into (the woman's) memory as she was raped and humiliated," Syms said.

And Syms reminded the jury that Baxter forced the woman to shower and wash after the rape. For the defense to point out the lack of DNA "is kind of like the guy who killed his parents then asked the judge for mercy because he was an orphan.''

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johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 02/19/10 - 05:58 am
0
0
A social deviate that our

A social deviate that our current medicine is unable to cure shouldn't be kept indefinitely with the opportunity to escape. If he were returned to near perfect health and all of his usable body parts were harvested, he could "give back to the community". Keeping him penned forever is worse than keeping a p.o.w. at Gitmo, it's cruel and unusual punishment. Let him pay his debt to society and compost the rest.

Dixieman
17214
Points
Dixieman 02/19/10 - 06:18 am
0
0
I'm sure it was just a series

I'm sure it was just a series of unfortunate coincidences that he accidentally videotaped "38 to 40 women at the moment when they were naked". Why, this could happen to anyone!
Good for the jury.

CABoatright
188
Points
CABoatright 02/19/10 - 06:55 am
0
0
Each of the women that Baxter
Unpublished

Each of the women that Baxter terrorized should be given a baseball bat and a few minutes alone with him...if he lives, then Big Bubba can have him in prison--nothing cruel and unusual about it.

reader54
324
Points
reader54 02/19/10 - 08:43 am
0
0
Johson.cliff: I tend to agree

Johson.cliff: I tend to agree with you on this one. However, I do think that, before anyone is put to death, they should have a comprehensive and unbiased psychological evaluation lest you think we should execute the mentally challenged. Not to say that this instance fits that category but simply for prudence. After all, two wrongs don't make a right.

themaninthemirror
0
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themaninthemirror 02/19/10 - 08:54 am
0
0
I am the first one to get on

I am the first one to get on the bandwagon opposing sexual crimes against women, but for some reason, I do not feel this man is guilty of rape. "And Syms reminded the jury that Baxter forced the woman to shower and wash after the rape." Isn't this why they administer a rape kit, after all a shower can not destroy "internal" evidence. Yes, it is was proven that this man was a peeping tom, and for that alone he should be taken off the street." But Syms reminded the jury that the woman who was raped testified she knew it was Baxter." There have been many men convicted of rape by the victim who " knew it was the man who did it", only to be cleared many years later by DNA evidence. I am in no way supporting this man's criminal actions, but I do not feel any one should wrongly convicted of a crime as serious as rape without evidence.

Newsreader
11
Points
Newsreader 02/19/10 - 09:16 am
0
0
I guess Baxter's luck has run

I guess Baxter's luck has run out. I do not think I have seen 38 to 40 women naked in my life, and I have even paid a few to undress, $1 at a time. LOL. I am also sure that the "lady" from Charleston was paid for her "occasional encounters" whenever Baxter was in town. What an alibi. I am glad that the jury was able to see beyond a shadow of doubt and give the victims some justice. It speaks volumes that these crimes stopped when Baxter was arrested. I sure hope that the videos were destroyed, but still there are at least another 35 victims out there and they may not even know that they were peeped upon.

themaninthemirror
0
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themaninthemirror 02/19/10 - 11:37 am
0
0
Ushouldnthave- I am going to

Ushouldnthave- I am going to overlook the fact that you may be implicating I am a fool. I am merely going on the fact that the newspaper articles have stated that there was no DNA evidence. I do believe this man was a peeping tom, it is hard to explain away all those videos on his camera,so yes, he is guilty of that. However, the fact that whomever the rapist was made the woman take a shower after the attack, does not preclude the fact that there was no DNA evidence. Isn't that why rape kits are administered at the hospital? Aren't DNA swabs taken from inside the body? Does taking a shower make you less sick if you have an infection? It is easy to be influenced by emotion, and believe me, I have the utmost compassion for these women, I don't know the individual accused of this crime, and I do not condone what he did, but wasn't there all kinds of evidence to convict O.J. Simpson? So the same rule applies here. There should have been evidence to convict him of rape. So, while your opinion may be appreciated,your insinuations are not.

corgimom
38225
Points
corgimom 02/19/10 - 11:58 am
0
0
Maninthemirror, do you

Maninthemirror, do you really want me to spell out to you why it is quite probable that the rape kit did not find DNA? My God. What man, or woman, over the age of 15 or so doesn't know?

themaninthemirror
0
Points
themaninthemirror 02/19/10 - 12:10 pm
0
0
corgimom- Are you saying he

corgimom- Are you saying he may have used a condom??? At the expense of not making myself look stupid, please tell me what you are talking about?

corgimom
38225
Points
corgimom 02/19/10 - 12:23 pm
0
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Obtaining DNA isn't what you

Obtaining DNA isn't what you see on tv. On tv, every time they swab, they get DNA, and that it's not degraded, and it's all perfect. That's not reality. There are many reasons why DNA may not be able to be obtained, but I know the AC won't let me say. You've thought of one, but there are many more. For the sake of decency, I just will say, it is a myth that all rapists leave DNA. In the majority of cases, they do not.

corgimom
38225
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corgimom 02/19/10 - 12:42 pm
0
0
Maninthemirror, rape is about

Maninthemirror, rape is about power and hatred and objectifying people. Think it through.

themaninthemirror
0
Points
themaninthemirror 02/19/10 - 01:19 pm
0
0
Corgimom, I once worked in a

Corgimom, I once worked in a lab at MCG and learned how to process DNA from blood samples, and you are absolutely correct, sometimes, no matter how thorough the process, DNA could not be obtained. There was once an important project involving blood samples from South Africa, and we were not able to obtain one shrivel of DNA from the blood. So you are correct. However, the articles that I have read do not give the inference whether a DNA test was done or not. So I am basing my opinions on no DNA test being done. But you are absolutely correct in your statements Corgimom. ( I am no longer in the medical field and have not kept up on any advances in the field of DNA work.)

emergencyfan
0
Points
emergencyfan 02/19/10 - 03:41 pm
0
0
Mirror, isn't that exactly

Mirror, isn't that exactly what youshouldn't was saying? That the Chronicle wasn't printing all the facts of the case so we don't know what the DNA problem was? I'm sorry, for me it comes down to believing the victim or believing Baxter in this case. If Baxter hadn't been peeping in windows or had all the naked photos on his computer, I might have been inclined to believe him. He hung himself with that. I've heard nothing that would make the victim less than credible.

newsjunkie10
6
Points
newsjunkie10 02/20/10 - 10:05 am
0
0
Baxter will get all the

Baxter will get all the perverted sex he wants in prison...

Edward B. Turner
69
Points
Edward B. Turner 02/20/10 - 10:39 am
0
0
To all: one of the victims TV

To all: one of the victims TV was stolen by Baxter after his attack. It was found in his home, and the purchase code # (unique and traceable to just one particular set).....matched perfectly.

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