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Frankfort man sentenced to 42 years for murder of Knox County man

From the US Department of Justice London, Ky -

Patrick Baker - LCCC

A Frankfort, Kentucky man, 43-year-old Patrick Baker, was sentenced to 42 years in prison, with credit for the 30 months he served in state prison, on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, by U.S. District Judge Claria Horn Boom, after previously being convicted by a federal jury of murder committed during a drug trafficking crime.

According to testimony at trial, Baker fatally shot 29-year-old Donald L. Mills, Jr., during an armed home invasion, on May 9, 2014, in the Stinking Creek community. Mills’ pregnant wife and other children were held at gunpoint, while Baker ransacked the victims’ home for oxycodone pills. Baker had entered the Mills’ home posing as a United States Marshal.

According to the evidence at trial, the KSP firearm forensics laboratory tied shell casings recovered from the victim’s master bedroom to Baker’s Kel Tec PF9. This gun was later recovered from a mud pit in Bell County. A surveillance video from the London Dollar General also showed Baker purchasing plastic handcuffs, approximately seven hours before the murder. The same handcuffs were later recovered just feet from where the victim was fatally shot. Further, cell tower data was used to trace Baker’s movements, throughout May 8 and 9, from London, to Stinking Creek, to Bell County.

Baker was convicted at trial in August 2021.

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky said: “The simple truth of this case is that Patrick Baker was found guilty of planning and committing an armed home invasion, to acquire drugs, where he shot and killed Donald Mills, Baker was convicted of a brazen act of violence – one that resulted in a murder, committed while the victim’s family was nearby. I want to commend the dedicated work of all our law enforcement partners and our trial team. Their faithful efforts were critical to the verdict, conviction, and sentence.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge R. Shawn Morrow of the Louisville Field Division said: “This was a violent crime that took a victim’s life and devastated a family, ATF is proud to have worked with the Kentucky State Police and the United States Attorney’s Office in bringing justice to this family.”

United States Attorney Shier; Special Agent in Charge Morrow; and Colonel Phillip Burnett, Jr., Commissioner, Kentucky State Police, jointly announced the sentencing.

Under federal law, Baker must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence. Upon his release from prison, he will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years. Baker was also ordered to pay $7,500 for funeral expenses of the victim.

The investigation was conducted by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives and the Kentucky State Police. The United States was represented in the case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenna E. Reed.

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