Friday, April 27, 2007

Amy Baker deserves what she gets

Judge won't cut bond for Baker
Kinney, Terry. Kentucky Post, April 24, 2007, pg. A2.

A judge refused to reduce bond Monday and set a May 17 hearing on the extradition to Kentucky of the key witness against a couple convicted in Ohio for the death of their 3-year-old foster child.

Amy Baker was granted immunity by Clermont County prosecutors to testify against Liz and David Carroll, a Union Township couple who left Marcus Fiesel bound in a closet while they attended a weekend family reunion in Kentucky.On Friday, authorities in Mason County, Ky., filed charges against Baker, accusing her of helping to get rid of the boy's body in the Ohio River -- which is Kentucky territory.

Baker, the live-in girlfriend of David Carroll, remained in jail following her hearing in Clermont County Municipal Court. Judge James Shriver refused her attorney's request to lower the bond from $50,000.

Baker surrendered Friday in Batavia to Clermont County prosecutors and has been held in the county jail since.

Defense attorney Norm Aubin said Baker will fight extradition to Kentucky. He said she doesn't have the money to pay the bond and could remain in jail for several months while the extradition fight is settled.

"It's not fair," the lawyer told Shriver. "It's not right."

Shriver was asked to appoint a special prosecutor in the case.

Clermont County prosecutors aren't happy that authorities in Kentucky filed charges against Baker after they gave her immunity to cooperate.

"Amy Baker should not be plucked out of Ohio to stand charges in Kentucky," Aubin said after the hearing.

Maysville police filed an arrest warrant on Friday, accusing Baker and David Carroll of tampering with physical evidence. Baker testified under immunity that she was with Carroll when he burned the boy's body and threw the ashes and other remains into the Ohio River off the William Harsha Bridge between Maysville and Aberdeen.

Clermont County prosecutors said they were assured by Kentucky officials that they would not pursue charges against Baker.

"If they did want her, they should have told Hamilton County and Clermont County prosecutors they did," Aubin said.

"They waited until it was all over before they even decided to do it."

Aubin said Mason County Attorney John F. Estill and Commonwealth Attorney Kathryn B. Hendrickson should have consulted with prosecutors in Ohio before filing charges against his client.

"We don't know why they're doing it," he said.

"You're going down the road of prosecutors getting in the way of each other's cases. You're supposed to use your own judgment and not bow to public pressure."

Estill could not be reached for comment Monday.

The Carrolls were accused of leaving the developmentally disabled boy home alone, bound in a blanket and tape inside a closet, while they went to a family reunion. The boy was dead when they returned to the home.

Baker testified at Liz Carroll's trial, which ended in her conviction in February. Carroll was sentenced to at least 54 years in prison.

David Carroll acknowledged his role in the boy's death rather than go to trial, and was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.

The case sparked calls for changes in the way Ohio dealt with foster children. The state revoked the license of Lifeway for Youth, the private agency that licensed the Carrolls as foster parents, although Lifeway is now appealing that action.


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