Baker threatened tenant with gun at Libertytown Road home in Nov. 2018
(Aug. 16, 2019) A 56-year-old man will spend seven years behind bars after threatening one of his tenants with a rifle at a home on Libertytown Road in Berlin, the Worcester County State’s Attorney’s Office said last Friday.
Circuit Court Judge Beau H. Oglesby initially sentenced Berlin resident Joseph Baker Sr. to 20 years in prison on Aug. 9. However, all but seven years were suspended, according to the state’s attorney’s office. Following his release, Baker will be under supervised probation for five years.
Baker stood trial on June 12 on charges of second-degree assault, illegal possession of a rifle by a prohibited person and illegal possession of ammunition. Baker pleaded not guilty, but a circuit court jury disagreed.
The charges arose out of an incident on Nov. 4, 2018 at a home on Libertytown Road in Berlin. Police went to the residence following reports of a landlord-tenant dispute involving a weapon.
The victim, who was one of Baker’s tenants, told authorities that Baker pointed a rifle at him and “threatened to ‘blow [the victim’s] head off.’
State troopers later apprehended Baker and discovered a rifle, shotgun and ammunition at his home.
Additionally, troopers found that Baker wasn’t allowed to possess firearms or ammunition.
Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser commended police for their efforts following the June 12 conviction.
“We are grateful that no one was injured as a result of this defendant’s actions, and we applaud law enforcement for working to keep firearms out of the hands of criminals in Worcester County,” Heiser said in a June statement.
Heiser said her office recommended that he serve 15 years because of his past criminal history.