Murder trial begins in Bell County


Police said a domestic argument lead to one man being stabbed and killed on Feb. 13, 2014.

Joshua Baker, 24, of Evans Drive was pronounced dead at the scene after his father Gary Baker Jr., 51, of Evans Drive, allegedly stabbed him. Gary Baker Jr. was apprehended by the Middlesboro Police Department.

According to the press release, at approximately 10:40 p.m. on Feb 13, 2014., the MPD received a report of a possible stabbing incident at a residence on Evans Drive. Responding officers and EMTs discovered Joshua Baker, who was suffering from an apparent stab wound to his chest.

Police said the preliminary investigation indicates that Joshua Baker was involved in a domestic argument with his father when he was stabbed. Gary Baker Jr. was arrested at the scene without incident.

Officers were assisted at the scene by Middlesboro Fire Department EMT personnel and the Bell County Coroner’s Office.

Officer Josh Burchett and Lt. Mike Hensley handled the investigation. Other officers assisting were Justin Barton, Harvey Johnson, Anthony Veillon and Police Chief Jeff Sharpe.

A grand jury indicted Gary Baker Jr. in April and Barker pleaded not-guilty at his arraignment in Bell Circuit Court. A pre-trial conference was held in May.

The murder trial began Tuesday. An interview that law enforcement conducted with Baker just hours after the incident was presented to the jury via audio recording.

Baker is heard saying he killed his son during the interview.

While Baker claims self-defense, saying his son had threatened to kill him, the officers called to the stand say Joshua had no weapons.

Burchett told the jury that Joshua Baker did not have a gun or a knife.

Former Middlesboro police officer, Justin Barton, told the jury that he saw no tears, no emotion from Gary Baker Jr. at the scene that night.

The trial will continue Wednesday.

Reach Reina P. Cunningham at 606-302-0901 or on Twitter @ReinaDailyNews.

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