Circuit Judge William Wright sentenced Lawrence Curtis Baker Jr. to 40 years in prison Tuesday for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Baker, 32, of 2235 River Road, Sneads, was convicted at trial last month. The maximum penalty for his charge, a second-degree felony, was 15 years in prison, but Assistant State Attorney Shad Redmon proved that Baker was a habitual violent felon based on his prior convictions. Baker was convicted of: armed trespass in 2002, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in 2005, burglary of a structure and felony battery in 2009.
Once Wright designated Baker a habitual violent felony offender, it allowed him to increase the maximum penalty to 40 years with a 30-year minimum mandatory in prison.
Redmon showed jurors during trial that Sneads Police Officer Brett Preston stopped a car belonging to Baker's girlfriend the morning of July 3, 2010. Preston was intending to ask her where Baker was. Baker had made threatening phone calls to the Sneads police chief and a sergeant a few days before and Preston wanted to talk to him.
As Preston approached the vehicle on foot, he noticed Baker in the passenger seat.
About that time, Baker got out of the car and started walking away. Preston told him to stop, but Baker continued on foot into a field. The officer followed him in his car, at which time Baker displayed a firearm and fired at the officer. He escaped by jumping onto a passing train and riding it out of the area, but was arrested later that day.
Information provided by the State Attorney's Office