A Lincoln man convicted of killing two people will not get a new hearing on his argument that he was too heavily medicated on anti-psychotic drugs to be competent to stand trial
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A Lincoln man convicted of killing two people will not get a new hearing on his argument that he was too heavily medicated on anti-psychotic drugs to be competent to stand trial
Lancaster County District Judge John Colborn denied Todd Baker's request last week, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/V2Ahks). Baker wanted the hearing so he could present evidence in an attempt to show that his convictions were unconstitutional.
Baker, 49, was convicted in 2006 in the 1996 killing of Anne True after Baker's ex-wife went to police with information in the case. The ex-wife testified during his trial that she was in a car with Baker when he jumped out, grabbed True as she walked along a city street and hit her with a hammer. Police say he left True's body in a field on the edge of town.
He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.
A year later while serving that sentence, Baker was convicted of killing 15-year-old Missy Schmidt, of Lincoln, in 1995. He was again sentenced to life.
Police say Baker was driving around town the night of Sept. 4, 1995, when he saw Schmidt sitting on the porch of her Lincoln home. Police say he walked up and spoke to her, then pulled out a hammer and struck the back of her head. He then dumped her body in a ditch west of town.
In his request for a new hearing, Baker listed a litany of anti-psychotic medications he was taking at the time of his murder trials. He argued that if he had been evaluated, he would have been found not responsible by reason of insanity or incompetent to stand trial.
Prosecutors pointed to court transcripts that showed Baker talked to the judges in his trials about the drugs he was taking and told them that he understood the proceedings.
In rejecting Baker's latest request for a hearing, Judge Colborn said Baker failed to prove his rights had been violated. Baker had demonstrated the capacity to understand the nature of the proceedings against him and his ability to make a rational defense, Colborn said.
Baker has already asked the judge to reconsider and has requested a court-appointed attorney.
Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com
(Image courtesy of Stock.xchng)