On August 9, 2019, Joseph Baker Sr., age 56, of Berlin, Maryland, was sentenced by the Honorable Beau H. Oglesby to a term of 20 years’ imprisonment in the Division of Correction, with all but 7 years suspended and was placed on 5 years of supervised probation upon release. A Worcester County jury previously found Baker guilty of illegal possession of a rifle by a disqualified person, illegal possession of a rifle by a prohibited person, illegal possession of ammunition, and second-degree assault after a trial was held on June 12, 2019.
The charges stem from an incident that occurred on Libertytown Road in Berlin, Maryland on November 4, 2018. Police were dispatched to that location for a landlord/tenant dispute involving a weapon. Upon arrival, they learned from the victim/tenant that Baker, who was his landlord at the time, had threatened to "blow [the victim’s] head off" while pointing a rifle at him. Troopers located Baker nearby, placed him under arrest and recovered a rifle, a shotgun and ammunition from his home. When troopers conducted a criminal record check, they confirmed that Baker was disqualified and prohibited from possessing any firearms or ammunition.
Worcester County State’s Attorney Kris Heiser commended the investigative efforts of the Maryland State Police, specifically Cpl. Orndorff and Tfc. Corron, which led to the successful prosecution of the case. Heiser also thanked her team of prosecutors for their thorough and thoughtful presentation at sentencing.