Rapist to spend rest of life in prison

 

An Augusta man who brutally attacked a couple, raping the woman and leaving both seriously injured, will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Johnny L. Baker was sentenced on his 39th birthday Thursday to three terms of life in prison plus 60 years. Because of his previous convictions, early release will not be allowed.

“He’s an absolute predator,” Assistant District Attorney John Markwalter said in Richmond County Superior Court.

In 1997 in Jefferson County, Baker was convicted of aggravated assault for shooting someone. In 2005, he was convicted of peeping Tom for spying on a young girl urinating in a public restroom. In 2008, Baker was convicted of two counts of sexual battery for fondling two young teens.

Baker had been out of prison for less than a year when he crawled through a window of a woman’s home in the middle of the night March 20. With a weapon described as a sawed-off broom handle, Baker attacked the man, driving him from the bed and out of the house by repeated blows and breaking his hands.

Baker returned to the bedroom, grabbed the woman by the hair and dragged her into the living room. When she tried to stop the attack, Baker punched her in the face while holding a box cutter and raped her. She was left covered in abrasions.

Neither victim could identify the masked attacker, but DNA proved it was Baker, according to trial testimony.

Markwalter asked the judge, before imposing sentence, to consider other crimes Baker had committed. In 1995, he was convicted in two battery cases. In 1996, he was convicted of reckless conduct for shooting into an occupied room.

The only way to protect the community is to lock Baker up for the rest of his life, Markwalter said.

Defense attorney Peter Johnson said Baker wanted to stand trial because he had been indicted under the wrong name. In addition, he said, there was a man with that name who served a prison term and whose DNA was entered into the DNA database. He asked the judge to take into account that Baker at least didn’t deny responsibility and profess his innocence on the witness stand during the trial.

Baker was convicted of rape, aggravated sodomy, kidnapping with bodily injury, false imprisonment, burglary and two counts of aggravated assault.

Judge Daniel J. Craig ordered Baker’s sentences to run consecutively to each other and to any time that might remain on his previous sentences.

Augusta man convicted of rape, other charges Thursday
Victims of March 20 attack testify in rape trial
Police seek suspect in Augusta home invasion, sex assault

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