Release Date: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 6 p.m.
Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that Elijah Temel Baker, 26 years old, previously residing in the 1300 block of Pierside Court, Virginia Beach, Virginia, was sentenced today by Circuit Court Judge Patricia L. West on one (1) count of Conspiracy to Commit a Felony, one (1) count of Carjacking, one (1) count of Eluding/Endangering a Police Officer, one (1) count of Possession of a Firearm by a Non-Violent Felon, and one (1) count of Robbery. The Honorable Patricia L. West upheld the recommondation of the jurors on March 16, 2009 and sentenced Baker to a total of 34 years, suspending 8 years, with a total of 26 years active sentence to serve. Co-defendant Devin Watts was sentenced on July 8, 2009 and received a total active sentence of 10 years of incarceration.
The Commonwealth’s evidence proved that on February 8, 2008, the victims Brian Backus and Jason Bishop were standing in the parking lot of the Twin Canal Apartments when they were approached by Elijah Baker and co-defendant Devin Watts. Baker and Watts asked Bishop for a cigarette and when he went to retrieve it, Baker demanded Bishop to empty his pockets and placed his hand on his waistband implying he had a weapon. Watts punched Backus in the face and chased Backus as he tried to flee the area.
Watts began to chase him and pointed what appeared to be a gun at him. Backus managed to escape, called 911 and flagged down an officer. Baker and Watts fled the scene in Backus’s vehicle. An officer responding to the scene noticed the defendants driving erratically and activated his emergency lights. The defendants attempted to elude the officer, when they crashed the vehicle in the 2100 Block of Independence Parkway and tried to escape on foot. A police K-9 officer had to release his dog to catch Baker.
The defendant had a prior criminal record which consisted of three convictions of Trespassing in 2005, one charge of Assualt and Battery in 2004, one felony charge of Possession of Controlled Substances in 2002, and misdemeanor charges of Possession of Alcohol, Possession of Marijuana, and Violation of Probation in 2000 and 2001, all in Virginia Beach.
Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Katherine E. Orsini prosecuted the case. Please call Julie Pickell if additional information is desired.