Jury hears from eyewitness, 911 caller and deputy coroner on first day of testimony in Baker trial

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Jacob Baker (left) talks with attorneys Kimberly Kendall Corral (center) and Aaron Schwartz

By Carol McIntire

Editor

Jurors heard from the Stark County deputy coroner who performed the autopsy on Robert S. “Bobby” Sikon, III, the man who made the 911 call standing along SR 171 and the woman who was driving the truck Sikon was riding in Nov. 16, 2019: the day he was shot and killed by Carroll County Sheriff Deputy Jacob E. Baker.

Baker is facing one charge of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the incident, which occurred along SR 171 in New Harrisburg in the late morning hours.

Dr. Frank Miller, who is now the Lorain County coroner, was the deputy Stark County coroner when he performed the autopsy on Sikon Nov. 17, 2019.

Miller testified Sikon had four bullet entrance and exit wounds and was grazed on the hip by another shot.

Attorney Katie Erchick Gilbert questioned Miller for the prosecution, asking him to explain in detail all the wounds.

Miller broke them down from the top of the body down (and not in order of which they occurred) saying No. 1 shot entered the back side of the left shoulder, went through the body and exited through the clavicle.

Number 2 entered the body through the upper left back, about two-and-a-half inches below #1, went through the back muscle and the second and third ribs, into the neck muscle and through the tongue, perforated the lower jaw and lip and exited through the right lower lip.

Number 3 entered the upper back, down about a quarter inch from Number 2, went through the muscle and the first and second vertebrae near the spinal cord, through the left lung and chest and exited the body above the collar bone.

Number 4 entered the body through the middle left back about 12 inches from the other wounds, entering below the 12th rib, hit a couple loops in the small intestine and the left abdomen and exited the body under the ribs.

When asked after explaining each shot, where the gun was fired from, Miller responded, “The gun was behind him.”

Miller said the fifth shot “grazed” Sikon’s hip.

When asked by Gilbert, which gunshot wound caused Sikon’s death, Miller replied #3.

His autopsy report noted Sikon died within minutes of the shooting. 

 Miller also testified as the results of toxicology tests performed on Sikon.

The tests showed acute methamphetamines in his body: the meth level was “much higher than many people,” and the amphetamine level was “in the upper range” and he also had THC (the main product of marijuana) and nicotine in his body.

Jeff Green testified he heard gun shots as he was driving home on SR 171 and saw a sheriff who “looked like he was in trouble.”

Green pulled off the north side of the highway, exited his vehicle and asked the sheriff deputy if he was ok. The deputy (Baker) asked him to call 911. Green said the sheriff was looking to the south with his gun pulled and straight ahead and was looking at a woman sitting in a truck in front of his SUV, Green said. He said he remained at the scene, watching the woman in the truck, until other sheriff and Carrollton police vehicles arrived. He noted there was no sense of emergency in Baker’s voice as the deputy asked him to call 911.

Defense attorney Aaron A. Schwartz cross examined Green on the statement he made to a Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification (BCI) officer in the days following the shooting. On the stand, Green told Prosecutor Reese he could not see Sikon, who was around the side of a building when he (Green) arrived on the scene and did not know Sikon had been shot. He testified the first time he saw Sikon was when emergency personnel brought him around the building on a gurney.

Under cross examination, Schwartz presented Green’s original statement to BCI and played a tape of the phone interview. In that interview, Green said Sikon “put up a pretty good fight” as law enforcement attempted to place him in hand cuffs. 

Jamie Vinka (who is now known as Jamie Marcus) testified as to the events that occurred Nov. 19, 2019.

She told Reese she was the driving her Chevrolet Colorado pickup with Sikon in the passenger seat that day. They were traveling from Canton to Amsterdam and driving on SR 171 when Baker pulled the vehicle over.

She said Sikon became nervous as Baker approached the vehicle and obeyed Baker’s command to put his hands out the window when ordered to do so. She said he did not exit the vehicle when ordered to do so and Baker pulled him from the vehicle. “He (Sikon) said something about warrants,” Marcus stated.

She also testified she watched in the rear view and side mirrors as the two “tussled” and Sikon resisted Baker’s attempts to place him in handcuffs and was attempting to flee from the deputy.

She used the word “angry” to describe the tone of Baker’s voice as he told Sikon if he didn’t stop, “I’ll F$%@#!$ kill you.”

“It happened so fast,” Marcus said, “Bobby had gotten away and took off and rounded a corner behind the second garage and I couldn’t see him. I lost sight of him because of the building.”

“I still saw the deputy in the rearview mirror. He was standing there, holding the gun up and said, ‘If you don’t stop, I’ll F$%@#!$ shoot you.’ The gun went off and I couldn’t see Bobby.”

When asked by Reece how many times the gun went off, she replied, “a lot.”

She also testified, she did not see any weapons on Bobby or in the vehicle.

On cross examination, Baker’s attorney Kimberly Kendall Corral, focused on Marcus’ criminal record for receiving stolen property and falsification.

During direct questioning, Reese asked Marcus about her criminal record.

“I had a friend who stole money and then paid me her rent with it,” Marcus said. “Then, my boyfriend wrecked a car and didn’t have a driver’s license so I said I was driving. “Someone who saw it, said I was wasn’t driving.”

The falsification charge stemmed from that incident, Reese noted.

On cross examination, Corral played the 26-minute recording of Marcus’ statement to BCI the evening of the shooting, questioning differences in statements she made at that time and statements she made on the witness stand.

“That was two years ago,” Marcus replied.

Concerning the statement Marcus made on the witness stand about Baker being angry, Corral asked Marcus why she didn’t tell BCI officials that night Baker was angry.

“I was scared and out of it,” Marcus replied.

Corral also asked about Marcus’ relationship with Sikon, pointing out she testified earlier she met him in person for the first time the evening prior to the shooting.

Marcus said she never identified herself as Sikon’s fiancé, even though they talked about becoming engaged during their nearly two-year relationship over Facebook and through texting each other.

The trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. July 21 with the Dr. Miller on the stand for cross examination by Baker’s attorneys.

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