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State v. Baker

Supreme Judicial Court of Maine

April 9, 2015

STATE OF MAINE
v.
DANIEL C. BAKER

Argued: February 11, 2015.

On the briefs:

Jamesa J. Drake, Esq., Drake Law, LLC, Auburn, for appellant Daniel C. Baker.

R. Christopher Almy, District Attorney, and Tracy Collins, Asst. Dist. Atty., Prosecutorial District V, for appellee State of Maine.

At oral argument: Jamesa J. Drake, Esq., for appellant Daniel C. Baker.

Tracy Collins, Asst. Dist. Atty., for appellee State of Maine.

Panel: SAUFLEY, C.J., and ALEXANDER, MEAD, GORMAN, JABAR, and HJELM, JJ.

OPINION

Page 215

HJELM, J.

[¶1] Daniel C. Baker appeals from a judgment of conviction for aggravated assault (Class B), 17-A M.R.S. § 208(1)(C) (2014), and domestic violence terrorizing (Class D), 17-A M.R.S. § 210-B(1)(A) (2014), entered in the trial court ( Jordan, J. ) after a jury trial. Baker argues that the trial court erred by failing to instruct the jury that it was required to acquit him if it found that the State failed to disprove self-defense and by failing to provide the jury with a corrected set of written instructions. Baker also argues that the court's remedial orders were insufficient after the State failed to produce photographic evidence and presented evidence that he did not make statements to investigators about certain aspects of the case. Because of the court's errors in its instructions to the jury, we vacate the judgment

Page 216

without reaching Baker's remaining arguments.

I. BACKGROUND

[¶2] Viewed in the light most favorable to the State, the evidence supports the following facts. See State v. Martin, 2007 ME 23, ¶ 2, 916 A.2d 961. Prior to November 2012, Baker and the victim were involved in an intimate but turbulent long-term relationship. The couple separated prior to November 8, 2012, but remained on speaking terms. On that day, the two found themselves at the same bar, and the victim offered to give Baker a ride because he was intoxicated. She drove Baker to her residence and told him that he could sleep on the couch or in her son's vacant room. In response, Baker kicked a plant off a coffee table. When the victim retreated to her room to get her phone, Baker pushed her onto her bed and yelled at her. She kicked Baker, who then grabbed her hair and pushed her into the wall, causing her to fall. He climbed on top of her, hit her, banged her head against the floor and the furnace vent, choked her and threatened her. The victim unsuccessfully attempted to bite Baker through his jacket. She was able to get away from Baker and ran out of the room. He caught her again, and they struggled in the hallway. He grabbed ...


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