By Diane Madigan
Independent Court Reporter
On July 11, Brian Bernard Baker ,17, of Van Buren Township accepted a plea agreement that could keep him in prison for the next 24 years.
After being arraigned on the information for an April 5 break-in at 10914 Buchanan and evidence recovered through a search of his home at 10958 Oak Lane conducted by VBT Sgt. Charles Bazzy, Baker stood mute and a Not Guilty plea was entered.
Prior to the arraignment Baker’s attorney James McGinnis, Assistant Prosecutor Danielle Russo and Judge Mark T. Slavens had a conference in Judge Slaven’s chambers. When the conference was finished, McGinnis spoke briefly to Baker in a holding section of the courtroom. Baker signed some forms and details for a plea agreement followed.
The 2nd Degree Home Invasion at 41408 Coolidge on April 12, and the Breaking and Entering with Attempted 2nd Degree Home Invasion at 11130 Van Buren on March 25 would be dismissed for guilty pleas to the other 3 cases.
Judge Slavens said restitution is reserved in all five cases.
Baker was sworn in and Judge Slavens asked him how old he was and how far he had gotten with his education. Very quietly Baker answered he was 17 and had finished 10th grade.
Judge Slavens asked Prosecutor Russo to read through the plea agreement on the other three cases. Then he asked Russo to review the facts in each case on the record for Baker to state his plea.
Baker pleaded guilty as charged to breaking and entering, stealing property and stealing a firearm, on March 15 at 3:27 p.m. at 10637 Jackson in Van Buren Township. The penalty for 1st Degree Home Invasion is 2 to 20 years and 2 years mandatory for felony firearms. Restitution is to be paid to James Laine.
Baker also pleaded guilty to breaking and entering, stealing property and stealing a firearm, on April 5 at 10 a.m. at 10914 Buchanan in VBT. The penalty for 1st Degree Home Invasion is 2 to 20 years to be run consecutively, plus an additional 2 years for felony firearms. Restitution is to be paid to Richard Jr. and Janine Labo.
Additional charges of larceny of $1,000 or more but less than $20,000, stealing firearms, receiving and concealing firearms were dismissed as part of the agreement.
Baker pleaded guilty as charged to breaking and entering and stealing property on Feb. 19 at 10991 Buchanan The penalty for 2nd Degree Home Invasion is 2 to 15 years to be run consecutively. Restitution is to be paid to Michelle Solak.
Baker was arrested on April 12 on 14 charges, after a investigation led by Detective Officer Derek Perez into five home invasions in the Haggerty Subdivision.
Baker’s grandmother and other family members were in court.
Baker will be sentenced on July 25.
All five break-ins were in Haggerty Subdivision during daytime hours. Baker traveled on foot from his nearby Oak Lane apartment to access the homes.
By Diane Madigan