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Life sentence in Parsons infant death case - KOAM TV 7

Life sentence in Parsons infant death case

Mark Baker - (Image from the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry) Mark Baker - (Image from the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry)
PARSONS, KANSAS -

Updated September 26, 2011 at 3:45 PM CST:  A Parsons, Kansas man who plead guilty to murdering his girlfriend's 19 month old son has been sentenced to the following:

  • First degree murder - life with mandatory 20 years
  • Abuse of a child - 10 1/2 years
  • Two marijuana charges - 4 years
  • Obstruction charge - 7 months

All sentences will be served consecutively.

Updated July 13, 2011 at 12:39 PM CST: A Southeast Kansas man pleads guilty to first degree murder.

In March, 25 year old Mark Baker was accused of murdering his girlfriend's 19-month old son in Parsons.

Investigators believe Baker sexually abused the child before killing him.

In addition to murder, his original charges included child abuse and aggravated sodomy.

Baker's sentencing is scheduled for a later date.

Updated March 28, 2011 at 5:15 PM CST:  Mark Baker appeared today in Labette County district court.

Baker appeared to weep openly as the judge read the charges against him: murder, child abuse and aggravated sodomy.

Investigators believe Baker sexually abused the 19 month old boy before killing him.

When Baker was a minor he had been convicted of sexually assaulting a seven and nine year old girl.

Because he was a minor at the time of those offenses he was no longer required to register as a sex offender in Kansas.

As an adult Baker had been accused of sexually assaulting another child but was never charged in that case.

Updated March 28, 2011 at 12:40 PM CST:  Mark Baker of Parsons is in court today charged with the murder, child abuse and aggravated criminal sodomy of a 19 month old boy.

Court documents show authorities knew the man charged with the murder of his girlfriend's son was living in southeast Kansas and had not registered as a sex offender, since he was not required to do so in Kansas.

Court documents show in 2007 Baker served two years in a Kansas prison for drugs, obstruction of justice, and a property crime conviction.

After his release Baker moved to Texas and registered as a sex offender for a 2001 sexual assault conviction of two girls, ages seven and nine.

The latest court documents show in 2010 Baker had returned to Kansas and was dating a girl who had her children taken away because of allegations that Baker molested one of them.

Updated March 25, 2011 at 5:45 PM CST:  We have verified that a man charged in the death of a 19 month old in Parsons is a previously convicted sex offender.

Mark Baker, 25 of Parsons, has been charged with a number of crimes including felony murder, abuse of a child and aggravated sodomy.

According to the Texas Public Sex Offender Registry Baker was convicted in 2001 of aggravated sexual assault of two girls, a seven year old and a nine year old.

Updated March 25, 2011 at 4:45 PM CST:  Authorities have charged Mark Baker, 25 of Parsons, with a number of crimes including felony murder, abuse of a child and aggravated sodomy.

A 19 month old boy was found unresponsive at a home in Parsons and taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The 19 month old is the third toddler in the past two months to have died in the Four State area.

Parsons Police Chief John Keele says these cases are especially difficult.

"It doesn't make me feel very good at all," says Chief Keele.  "I don't think it would make anyone feel very good.  Like I said, it is a serious crime."

D.J. Yates, 23, is accused of killing his one year old son Quinton in February.

Donevan Harris, 23, is accused of killing his girlfriend's daughter earlier this month.

The incidents involving Yates and Harris both occurred in Ottawa County, Oklahoma.

According to the Department of Justice male caretakers are responsible for a disproportionate number of child abuse deaths.

Posted March 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM CST:  Authorities responded to a 911 call in Parsons, Kansas on Tuesday afternoon.  Upon arrival to the home at 1203 Clark officers found a 19 month old boy unresponsive.

He was transported to Labette Health where he was pronounced dead.

His body has been taken to Topeka for an autopsy.

Mark Baker, 25 of Parsons, has been arrested in connection with the death of the toddler.

According to the Labette County prosecutor he is charging Baker with felony murder, abuse of a child, aggravated criminal sodomy, obstruction of official duty and felony possession of marijuana.

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

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