Recalcitrant Defendant Ignored Previous Restraining Order, but Judge Gives Him Another Chance: Prosecutor Worries


By Koda Slingluff

SACRAMENTO, CA – Maybe a defendant here has learned his lesson—but the last time he was released with a restraining order to not go back to a woman’s house, he went back immediately, despite the order, said prosecutors.

But this week, Defendant Edwin Baker was given yet another chance—a Sacramento County Superior Court judge again released him with a restraining order, with a promise not to return to a restricted residence.

Deputy District Attorney Kristin Hayes urged the judge to send a stronger message.

But the judge released Baker after he pleaded no contest to threatening to kill and seriously harm two people back in October of 2020.

Defense and prosecution agreed to proceed with a resolution: the prosecution would submit a Harvey waiver so that Baker’s former cases could be considered by Judge Joseph Orr, Baker would not contest his charge, and he would be released that day.

District Attorney Hayes described the factual basis for Baker’s charge. The victims were a husband and wife who had numerous fearful instances with Baker prior to the night in October. He arrived at their home holding a skateboard, threatening to hit the husband and “jack him up,” according to Hayes.

Hayes continued that “he told [the wife] he was going to get her, too, ‘old woman,’ and that he was going to kill her. He threatened to burn their home down and continued… that he was going to kill her husband, and that she would not have a husband.”

Baker was present in the room, inside the cage-like structure which Sacramento Superior Court uses for defendants in custody. As Hayes concluded the factual basis, Baker loudly spoke up.

“It’s a shame that none of that happened,” he said to the courtroom.

His comment was ignored by Orr, who talked over him to continue proceedings. Baker repeated himself, louder—“It’s a shame that none of that happened”—until his attorney walked over to say something to him quietly.

Judge Orr continued to ignore the interruptions. He asked Baker for his plea.

Baker looked at Assistant Public Defender Vadim Kobrya, who told him what to say, “No contest to accept the offer.”

But as the proceedings concluded, DDA Hayes took a moment to make a request.

“Maybe your honor could emphasize to the defendant that he does need to stay away from the victims, as the last time he was released from custody he went straight to their home,” she said.

It was not made explicit if he threatened the couple immediately upon release, or if these were two separate instances. But evidently, Hayes was concerned that Baker would ignore his certified protective order and return again.

Judge Orr took a moment to address this concern.

To Baker, the judge stated, “If you are found anywhere on or around that property, you will not only be in violation of your probation, you will be in violation of your restraining order, and you will be back in jail, and you will not get out for some extended period of time.”

With no further commentary from Baker, he was released.

Koda is a junior at UC Berkeley, majoring in Philosophy and minoring in Rhetoric. He is from Ventura, CA.

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