2013-09-12 / Front Page

Felony case bound over

Man faces up to life in prison if convicted

MANISTIQUE – A Manistique man will face three felony charges in a higher court following his preliminary hearing Monday. The charges stem from an alleged assault on Aug. 28.

Gordon Daniel Baker II, 35, was arrested on Aug. 28 following an incident at 226 Range St. He faces three charges: first degree home invasion, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison; assault with intent to commit murder, a felony punishable by up to life in prison; and assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

In 93rd District Court Monday, Schoolcraft County Prosecuting Attorney Tim Noble made his case for Baker’s bind over using seven witnesses, including neighbors and the victim, Michael Henry Chapek, 51, who lives at the address in which the incident occurred.

According to Noble, Baker and his girlfriend had visited Chapek’s residence the evening of Aug. 27. The trio, along with Chapek’s girlfriend, visited throughout the night until an altercation caused Baker and his girlfriend to leave.

Witnesses testified that as Baker left, he threatened Chapek, yelling down the street as he walked away.

According to witness testimony, Baker allegedly returned in the early morning hours and kicked open Chapek’s door, breaking a chain lock and forcing his way in. Chapek’s girlfriend testified that after this incident, she and Baker spoke for a while before Baker went near the back of the apartment to retrieve some items he had left behind previously.

At some point after that, Chapek’s girlfriend said Baker woke a sleeping Chapek by throwing an object at him. Baker then began to assault Chapek, she testified, throwing him to the ground and repeatedly “stomping” his head.

Chapek’s girlfriend exited the apartment and dialed 911, though police were already near the scene as the result of calls from neighbors.

In his closing statement, Noble argued that there was enough evidence against Baker to support both assault charges, namely, the threats Baker allegedly made after his first altercation with Chapek. These threats, Noble explained, showed Baker intended to come back to murder Chapek.

Baker’s attorney, Kathryn Denholm argued that Baker did not intend to murder Chapek, and that there was ample opportunity to do so if that is what he had wanted.

Judge Mark E. Luoma agreed with Noble, and bound Baker over to 11th Judicial Circuit Court on all three charges. Baker is considered a habitual offender, fourth offense, which may increase his sentence upon conviction of the other charges.

Baker will appear in circuit court for a Sept. 19 at 9 a.m. hearing. Luoma continued the “no bond” condition and Baker remains lodged at the Schoolcraft County Jail.

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