Second motion filed to dismiss Baker manslaughter case

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A motion to dismiss the voluntary manslaughter case against a Carroll County sheriff deputy has been filed for the second time.

The motion was filed June 19 by Kimberly Kendall Corral, attorney for deputy Jacob E. Baker, in the clerk of courts office following what was scheduled as the final pre-trial hearing before Baker’s two-week trial begins July 19.

Corral and Special Prosecutor Jason P. Reese of Canton met behind closed doors with Judge Linton D. Lewis, Jr. for about 45 minutes. Media and a family member of Robert S. (Bobby) Sikon, III, who sat outside the courtroom, were told there was nothing to be put on the record just before noon. At 11:59 a.m., the motion was filed in the clerk’s office.

Baker shot Sikon multiple times during a Nov. 16, 2019, traffic stop in New Harrisburg and was indicted by a grand jury Aug. 12, 2020, on one count of voluntary manslaughter.

The motion filed June 19 claims the charge of voluntary manslaughter is unconstitutional as applied to law enforcement officers.

Corral filed a motion to dismiss the case Dec. 11, 2020, stating a charge of voluntary manslaughter cannot be applied to law enforcement and creates a legal impossibility.

Lewis denied the motion Jan. 26, 2021, noting in his motion, to determine the issue, the court would have to consider evidence not on record, which is that Baker was not identified as a police officer in the indictment. Also, there are no facts on record which would allow the court to consider the circumstances of the incident involving Sikon.

Lewis stated a more appropriate approach is to make a Criminal Rule 29 motion at trial, or agree to a stipulation of facts and submit the case to the court with a written memorandum.

Criminal Rule 29, a motion for acquittal, is made after the prosecution closes its case or at the close of all evidence and before the case goes to the jury.

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