LONDON, Ky. – A Frankfort, Kentucky man, Patrick Baker, 43, was convicted on Wednesday, by a federal jury sitting in London, of first-degree murder committed during a drug trafficking crime.
After 6 hours of deliberation, following an approximately 3-week trial, the jury convicted Patrick Baker of one count of first-degree murder during a drug trafficking crime. According to testimony at trial, Baker fatally shot Donald L. Mills, Jr., 29, during an armed home invasion on May 9, 2014 in the Stinking Creek community. Mr. Mills’ pregnant wife and children were held at gunpoint while Baker ransacked the victims’ home for oxycodone pills. Baker entered the Mills’ home posing as a United States Marshal.
According to the evidence at trial, the KSP firearm forensics’ laboratory tied shell casings recovered from the victim’s master bedroom to Baker’s Kel Tec PF9. The Kel Tec 9mm was later recovered from a mud pit in Bell County past the “Bridge to Nowhere.” A surveillance video from the London Dollar General showed Baker purchasing plastic handcuff approximately 7 hours before the murder. The same handcuffs were later recovered feet from where the victim was fatally shot. Furthermore, cell tower data was used to trace Baker’s movements throughout May 8th and 9th, 2014 from London, to Stinking Creek, to Bell County.
Baker was indicted in May 2021.
“At its core, this case was about one thing: Patrick Baker’s role in the death of Donald Mills,” said Carlton S. Shier, IV, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky. “Having heard the evidence, the jury found him guilty. I want to commend the steadfast work of our law enforcement partners and our trial team. This case warranted their dedication, and the jury’s verdict justifies their thorough effort.”
“Today’s guilty verdict sends a significant message and demonstrates our commitment to justice,” stated ATF Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Division. “The result of this case would not have been possible without the excellent work of the ATF London Office, our law enforcement partners, and the United States Attorney’s Office. An examination of the evidence was overwhelmingly in support of Patrick Baker’s guilt. This case is a strong example of the work ATF is doing, every day, to combat violent crime in our communities.”
Acting United States Attorney Shier; Special Agent in Charge Morrow; and Colonel Phillip Burnett, Jr., Commissioner, Kentucky State Police, jointly announced the conviction.
The investigation was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives and the Kentucky State Police. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna Reed.
Baker will appear for sentencing on December 21, 2021. He faces up to life in prison. However, the Court must consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the applicable federal sentencing statutes before imposing a sentence.
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