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Fredrick Michael Baer - Indiana
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Thread: Fredrick Michael Baer - Indiana

  1. #1
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    Fredrick Michael Baer - Indiana




    Summary of Offense:

    Baer was sentenced to death for murdering Cory Clark and her four-year-old daughter in 2004. He used a knife to slit their throats. Baer had attempted to rape Cory before her death.

  2. #2
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    May 15, 2010

    Death-row inmate seeks a new trial

    INDIANAPOLIS — An attorney for a man convicted of killing a woman and her young daughter asked the Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday to block his execution and grant him a new trial because he is mentally ill.

    “It's part of the evolving standards of decency that severe mental illness precludes execution,” deputy public defender Joanna Green said, though she acknowledged the Indiana court hadn't yet made such a ruling.

    She said the prosecutor at Fredrick Michael Baer's 2005 murder trial misled jurors about the legal definition of mental illness and defense attorneys failed to object, leaving the jury confused. She also said defense attorneys didn't adequately focus on Baer's mental history, which included psychosis and brain damage from huffing as a teenager.

    Green also said the prosecutor told jurors that Baer was trying to avoid responsibility for his crime when in fact he had tried to plead guilty but mentally ill. The judge rejected his plea.

    Kelly Miklos, a lawyer for the attorney general's office that is seeking to keep Baer's death sentence intact, argued that evidence showed that Baer either was faking mental illness or exaggerating it to try to escape the death penalty.

    The 38-year-old Baer was convicted of the February 2004 slayings of 26-year-old Cory Clark and her 4-year-old daughter, Jenna, at their rural Madison County home near Lapel.

    http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pb...4/NEWS/5140346

  3. #3
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    As of September 1, 2010, Baer is appealing to the Indiana Supreme Court over the denial of his petition for post-conviction relief (state habeas).

    www.in.gov/ipdc/general/indianadeathrow.pdf

  4. #4
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    Court Denies New Trial For Death Row Prisoner

    The Indiana Supreme Court has denied a new trial for a man sentenced to death for killing a woman and her young daughter.

    Fredrick Michael Baer, 39, argued among other things that he shouldn't be executed because he is mentally ill.

    But the justices ruled 5-0 Wednesday that "there is no state or federal constitutional bar to executing the mentally ill."

    They also noted that jurors at Baer's 2005 murder trial rejected his request for a verdict of guilty but mentally ill.

    Baer's attorneys said he suffered from numerous mental disorders and brain damage from huffing as a teenager.

    Baer was convicted of the February 2004 slayings of Cory Clark, 26, and her daughter, Jenna,, 4, at their rural Madison County home near Lapel.

    Both the victims' throats were slashed, and Jenna was partially decapitated.

    The Indiana Supreme Court previously upheld Baer's sentence in 2007.

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  5. #5
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    ::ADMINISTRATIVE DATE::

    The Indiana Department of Corrections has confirmed an execution date of September 27, 2011 for Baer. Although I was informed all Indiana execution dates should be considered serious, Baer still has federal appeals.

  6. #6
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    On August 29, 2011, Baer filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/ind...cv01168/35959/

  7. #7
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    March 27, 2013

    Death row inmate admits to crimes while waiting on appeals

    By Jack Molitor
    The Herald Bulletin

    ANDERSON, Ind. — Eight years have passed and a man who committed one of the most heinous crimes in Madison County history still remains on death row.

    Fredrick Michael Baer, 41, bides his time in Michigan City State Prison and waits for the appeal process on his death penalty conviction to work in his favor or expire. It’s not a short process, and there are still several steps to go. Either way, Baer will likely spend the rest of his days in prison.

    It’s something he’s recently acknowledged he deserves. In a video released in January, British reporter Trevor McDonald visited Baer in Michigan City to talk about his experience on death row. In the video, Baer disclosed the details of the murders and admitted that he deserves the death penalty.

    Baer was convicted of the grisly slayings of Lapel resident Cory Clark, 26, and her daughter Jenna, 4, in their home on Feb. 25, 2004. According to reports on the incident, Baer left his place of work, drove to Lapel and talked his way into Clark’s home with the intention of raping her. His plans changed somehow, and Baer instead cut Clark’s and the preschooler’s throats.

    Baer had previously denied committing the crimes to police and in media interviews.

    Sam Hanna, now Elwood chief of police, was the lead homicide investigator at the Madison County Sheriff’s Department at the time, and he tracked down Baer in less than an hour after the murder. It’s still a source of pride for Hanna.

    “I’ve worked a lot of cases, and I’ve seen a lot of things, but a man like Fred Baer and what he did, it’s the sort of thing you never forget,” Hanna said.

    Baer was also suspected of being a serial rapist. Hanna and investigators found a box of “trophy items” in Baer’s vehicle believed to have come from each victim, and it helped lead to rape convictions in Hamilton and Marion counties in addition to the murder conviction. Hanna said he still believes Baer is worthy of the death penalty, and wouldn’t be surprised if there was still something Baer hasn’t come clean about.

    The aggravating circumstances surrounding the case led the jury to evoke the death penalty, a relative rarity in Indiana. Because the punishment is the most severe possible, the burden of proof is also high, and the appeal process is long and ends at the federal level. Both nationally and in Indiana, death penalty sentences and executions have decreased drastically since 1977. The last criminal executed by Indiana was Matthew Eric Wrinkles, the 20th person executed in Indiana’s history, in 2009.

    Baer is still working on appeals to avoid becoming the 21st.

    In the video, Baer said he is nearing exhaustion of his appeals, but Mark Maynard, one of Baer’s former attorneys, said the process still has a few steps. Maynard said the appellate review for Baer is currently in its third and final level, which is federal habeas corpus review. This stage focuses on federal constitutional issues, unlike the first two that happen at the state level. If all appeals are lost, a final plea to the governor for clemency can be made.

    Maynard said the next step for Baer would be the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals out of Chicago, and he said it could still be a few years before Baer is executed even if he loses every appeal.

    http://heraldbulletin.com/local/x620...ing-on-appeals

  8. #8
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    April 27, 2013

    Shock, anger after Baer murders
    Case now at federal district appeal level


    By Jack Molitor
    The Herald Bulletin

    ANDERSON, Ind. — Sam Hanna and Rodney Cummings have been in law enforcement for decades. They’ve both served as police officers, and between them they’ve investigated many murders.

    But the details of Frederick Baer’s murder of 26-year-old Cory Clark and her 4-year-old daughter Jenna still make them shiver.

    “I’ve worked a lot of cases, and I’ve seen a lot of things, but a man like Fred Baer and what he did, it’s the sort of thing you never forget,” Hanna said.

    Hanna, who was the Madison County Sheriff Department’s lead detective for the case, is now the chief of police in Elwood. Cummings, a longtime Anderson police officer, is now the Madison County prosecutor. He built the case against Baer that led to his conviction.

    “I don’t remember a lot of cases because there have been so many, but some of them stand out,” Cummings said. “This is at the top of that list.”

    That’s the sentiment of nearly everyone who was involved with the investigation and resulting litigation. Time has passed, and the principle characters in the investigation and trial have changed places, but the memory is indelibly scarred in their minds.

    The investigation

    Hanna and the homicide team arrived at Clark’s home near Lapel about 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2004. They found a gruesome scene that defies description.

    “It was horrible. It made me angry. Very angry,” Cummings said.

    Cummings, who helped with the investigation, pointed out tire tracks found in the road near the home. Witnesses helped describe a suspicious man who had been walking around the neighborhood earlier. That along with the description of the suspect’s vehicle helped investigators track Baer to the construction site where he had been missing from work for about two hours.

    The tires on Baer’s car matched the markings near the Lapel home. Jenna’s blood was also found in the car.

    They had found the murderer in less than 24 hours after the murders. It’s something that still makes Hanna proud.

    When police executed the warrant on Baer’s home, they found much more than they expected. “Trophies,” items taken from the home of victims, from seven unsolved rapes in Marion and Hamilton counties were found in his home. Baer, who was already a convicted thief, was also a serial rapist — and now a murderer.

    The trial

    Baer responded defiantly to the accusations, telling the media he didn’t murder anyone and he wouldn’t hurt a butterfly. For more than a year leading up to the trial, which was in April and May 2005, the defense and prosecution sought evidence, interviewed witnesses and experts, and built their cases.

    Jeffrey Lockwood, now a deputy prosecutor, was the lead defense counsel for Baer. He said he remembers trying his best to work for Baer, but his unrepentant attitude and a mountain of evidence presented a difficult defense.

    “He seemed difficult during the trial. As to his motivations then, I haven’t a clue what he was thinking,” Lockwood said. “It’s as if he was trying to live up to a bad boy image.”

    Lockwood said he doesn’t believe in the death penalty because it’s ineffective as a deterrent and cost prohibitive. Still, he said in decades of trials he hasn’t seen many cases with such grisly details.

    “Nothing compares to a death-penalty case. I felt like I was in a fishbowl, like everyone was looking over my shoulder,” Lockwood said. “It’s a big responsibility to have someone’s life in your hands. The subject matter is always emotional, on both sides.”

    A special judge, Fredrick Spencer, and a special jury from Huntington were selected for the unusual case. Spencer, who declined to speak on the record about the trial for legal reasons, denied a guilty but mentally ill plea from Baer and Lockwood, which almost certainly would have kept the death penalty off the table. The insanity plea from Baer rang false to the jurors, and after finding him guilty they recommended the death sentence.

    “I think they [the jurors], coming from a place without a lot of crime, were just overwhelmed by the details. How could someone commit such a horrible crime?” Cummings said.

    The appeals

    After the direct appeal was denied, the case moved to the Indiana Supreme Court for the post-conviction relief level of appeals in December 2008. This stage focuses on whether due process was followed and whether the legal procedure was satisfied, rather than the actual details of the case.

    Appellate defense attorney Mark Maynard of Anderson argued Baer didn’t receive adequate counsel during the trial, that the death penalty violated the Eighth Amendment, which prevents cruel and unusual punishment, and that Spencer unfairly rejected Baer’s mentally ill plea.

    The decision fell to Madison Circuit Court 3 Judge Thomas Newman, who last week said he has his own reservations about the death penalty but never allows them to influence his decisions. In total, the defense challenged 103 different points of the trial. Newman addressed each, point by point.

    “I decided he wasn’t entitled,” Newman said. “I personally don’t believe in the death penalty, but when you’re a judge, that’s not really relevant. I don’t allow my personal beliefs to influence me. I’ve overseen many murder cases, including eight death penalty cases. I’ve given the death penalty to three people.”

    In the decision, Newman wrote Baer’s mentally ill plea was an issue for the direct appeal level, not for post-conviction relief, and denied the appeal. He said he remembered Baer being difficult, and that he needed heavy medication just to sit still in court. After one day, he decided Baer couldn’t stay and continued with the decision.

    “I’ve been in law for a long time, and this was one of the more horrendous cases I’ve seen, as far as the details. It’s right up there,” Newman said. “It’s almost scary.”

    Baer is now in the Federal District level of appeals, which will be decided in Indianapolis after court congestion clears. The rest of the appeals process, which could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, could still last more than five years.

    But Baer is already considering dropping the process and accepting the sentence. After eight years on death row and the weight of his crimes on his mind, he said it would be a release for him at this point. He wouldn’t be the first. Four Indiana death row inmates since 1977 waived their appeals and were executed.

    Lockwood said the roller coaster of emotions for a death row inmate is quite common, but defense attorneys strongly discourage terminating the process. It’s difficult to stop. Once the appeals process is stopped, it can’t be started again.

    “Life shouldn’t be considered cheap. No matter who it is. That’s what I believe, and I think that’s how most people feel,” Lockwood said. “There are lots of ups and downs and emotions with the victim’s family, their own family. The entire process is very emotional. For everyone.”

    http://heraldbulletin.com/local/x730...r-Baer-murders

  9. #9
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    April 27, 2013

    'I deserve to die'

    Convicted murderer Fredrick Baer considers dropping his appeals

    By Jack Molitor
    The Herald Bulletin

    MICHIGAN CITY, Ind. — Fredrick Michael Baer has an envelope in his cell at the Indiana State Prison.

    Inside the envelope is a letter to his attorneys, asking them to terminate the appeals process in his death penalty case. The letter lies waiting, waiting for its author to muster the courage to take that last step toward the death chamber.

    Baer has been on death row for more than eight years, and if the appeals process continues through every step, it could be another eight years.

    He lives in a hell he created, and he says he deserves to die.

    In 2004, Baer talked his way into a Lapel area home, where he attempted to rape 26-year-old Cory Clark. She resisted, and he slit her throat. Then he turned the knife on her 4-year-old daughter, Jenna.

    After he was arrested for the crimes, Baer denied his guilt with the fierce defiance of a belligerent young man. Eight years later, he appears two decades older. Short and thin, Baer wears eyeglasses with antique frames. His head is shaved. Tattoos mark his neck and arms.

    During an interview at the state prison Tuesday with The Herald Bulletin, he spoke softly, emotionally. Shackles and chains restrained him from ankles to wrists, but he could not contain his emotional agony. Long pauses and deep breaths interrupted the interview. Baer choked back tears and turned away from the camera in shame and regret.

    “[I think about it] Every day ... every day,” Baer sobbed. “I’m so sorry ... so sorry.”

    During the trial in 2005, Baer was exposed as a thief, a serial rapist and, finally, a double murderer. The gruesome gravity of his last offense brought the death penalty, an increasing rarity in the Hoosier state.

    The final crime

    Baer was working at a construction site in Anderson on the afternoon of Feb. 25, 2004. He was suffering withdrawal from methamphetamine. Anxiety hammered in his head. Sweat seeped from his skin despite the February chill. With evil intent, Baer left work early to drive someplace. Any place to rob. Any woman to rape.

    He drove to Lapel and parked near two homes. He approached one house and knocked on the door. A woman answered but cautiously kept Baer from looking inside. He asked to use her phone.

    “She brought me the phone, but I was trying to get in. So I dialed something and gave her the phone back,” Baer recalls.

    Down the road, he spotted a woman moving boxes outside. It was Cory Clark, wife of John Clark and mother of Jenna and Morgan. Her husband was in Florida looking for a job, and her older daughter Morgan was at school.

    Baer walked over and knocked on Clark’s door.

    “A little girl answered the door,” Baer said. “She went to get her mother, and I asked if I could use the phone.”

    Cory Clark went to get her phone without noticing Baer was following her inside. She turned around and started to scream.

    “I told her, ‘Don’t scream.’ ... Everything fell apart from there,” Baer says between long pauses. “I tried to rape her ... I killed her ... I cut her throat ...”

    Baer won’t talk about the murder of Jenna Clark. Investigators believe Jenna ran from the room in terror. Baer followed the girl and killed her.

    “They didn’t deserve to die,” Baer says through tears. “I don’t know why I did it. But every day I’ve thought about it ... for the past eight years. ... All the pain I’ve caused. All the hurt I’ve caused.

    “I remember the words of [Cory Clark’s] mother on the witness stand: ‘Why?’ And I’ve asked that every day for the past eight years.”

    The Herald Bulletin’s attempts to contact the victims’ family for this article were unsuccessful.

    Baer says he recently observed his two victims’ birthdays, which were in March. He has the dates marked on a calendar in his cell.

    He says he’s haunted by unanswerable questions. Where did things go wrong? How could things have been different? Why did I kill? Why am I still alive?

    Before the murders

    Baer was born Oct. 19, 1971, and grew up in Indianapolis. He and his sister, Evelyn, were adopted by their stepfather. Baer never knew his real father. He remembers his mother and stepfather as loving, for the most part. Baer says he never went hungry.

    When he was a boy he dreamed of following in his stepfather’s footsteps and joining the Army. He said the brotherhood of the Army appealed to him, and he hoped a career in the military would help him see the world.

    In 1983, Evelyn was murdered by her ex-husband, tragically culminating a turbulent and abusive relationship. Evelyn’s death was a turning point for Baer, who was not yet a teenager, and his entire family.

    After Evelyn’s death, Baer says, his stepfather started to abuse alcohol and became mentally and physically abusive. Baer says his mother withdrew as a parent. Baer struggled to concentrate in school. He was hyperactive, fidgety and acted out to get attention. By the end of high school, he was abusing drugs.

    He turned to thievery to support his addiction to methamphetamine, an increasingly popular, insidious and highly-addictive psychostimulant. While living in Knox County around 2000, Baer was continually in and out of jail. By 2002, he faced charges for drug trafficking and possession, probation violations, thefts, robberies, resisting law enforcement, escape and battery.

    The Knox County prosecutor’s office offered a plea agreement of 18 months in prison, foregoing a habitual offender charge that could have increased Baer’s sentence.

    From Baer’s perspective, his quick release from prison was an opportunity. He got married and found a job in the work-release program. But the temptations of the past soon overwhelmed the new life Baer sought to forge. His wife, he says, was a negative influence, and he began stealing to finance his drug addiction.

    He also started raping, finding random targets and using the ruse of needing to use a telephone to talk his way into women’s homes. After the murder conviction, investigators found in Baer’s home “trophies,” items taken from the homes of his victims. The evidence led to rape charges in Marion and Hamilton counties.

    Baer’s insatiable appetite for rape, fueled in part by his drug addiction, escalated toward the tragedy of Feb. 25, 2004.

    The death penalty

    Baer lives in a cell in a tall, brick building on the campus of the Indiana State Prison less than half a mile from Lake Michigan. Surrounded by barbed wire and guard towers, the prison holds more than 2,000 of Indiana’s most heinous criminals, including 10 other death row inmates.

    This is Baer’s home, and it’s almost certainly where he’ll die. He’s next on the execution list.

    When he will die is still uncertain.

    Since 1977, 94 people have been sentenced to death by the State of Indiana. Twenty of those have been executed. In 54 cases, the death penalty was reversed by the state or by the courts in the appeals process. Eric Michael Wrinkles, the last person to be executed in Indiana, was put to death in 2009.

    The appeals process for a death penalty inmate is long and expensive. Death penalty cases and the direct appeal process are estimated to cost about $450,000 — more than 10 times life-without-parole cases.

    Beyond the cost of litigation, debate still rages about whether the death penalty is morally defensible. Nearly two-thirds of the world’s nations have abolished capital punishment, including more than 30 in the past decade. In the United States, 33 states have the death penalty. But 13, including Indiana, have had no executions in the past five years. And during that time, five states have abolished capital punishment.

    What was once considered a staple of justice systems is gradually becoming a relic. Still, a 2011 Gallup poll showed that 61 percent of Americans support the death penalty.

    Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings, who tried the Baer case in 2005, said if there’s one person in Indiana who should be put to death, it’s Baer.

    Baer isn’t arguing against it anymore.

    “So many people’s lives have been destroyed because of what I’ve done. All I can do is hope one day the family might forgive me, if that’s even possible,” Baer says. “I know they think about it. ... I can’t stop thinking about it ...

    “I don’t expect them to forgive me. I don’t expect them to understand, because I don’t really understand. There’s no reason for a person to do that to another person.”

    Baer believes he deserves to die. He believes death offers the only release from his constant regret and self loathing. He says he doesn’t know why he continues the appeals process. He claims he doesn’t fear death.

    “I have the paperwork ready to be dropped in the mail any day,” Baer says of the letter that sits in his cell, waiting to be mailed to his attorneys, waiting to stop the waiting. “I live day by day. Death is just a transition for me at this point.”

    Waiting in prison

    For the past eight years, Baer has been on a standard death row inmate schedule at the Indiana State Prison. He and the 10 other death row prisoners are sequestered in a separate cell area, away from the general population. They have limited interaction with one another.

    Baer usually wakes up about 3 a.m. and checks through his belongings. Breakfast comes an hour later.

    Starting about 6 a.m., Baer is allowed four hours of time outside his cell to shower, go outside or exercise. The rest of the time is spent in his cell. Baer occupies himself by watching television and caring for his cat, Lucky.

    Keeping a pet is a privilege earned at the Indiana State Prison by inmates with good behavior. Baer says he’s not sure it’s a privilege he deserves, but Lucky has given him a sense of responsibility and something to look forward to each day.

    Baer is trying to find answers for what he’s done, so he has sought medical care. He’s been diagnosed as bipolar and takes four different medications daily to help stabilize his moods. Sometimes they help. Sometimes they don’t. He also sees a psychiatrist every Tuesday.

    “I need answers. I need to understand why I did those things,” Baer says. “Normal people don’t do things like that. I don’t claim to be fine and normal, but I was raised with common sense.”

    Baer claims to have embraced Christianity in prison. He has several Bibles in his cell. He says he prays regularly and asks for forgiveness, knowing his crimes could be unforgivable.

    Baer has written letters to Clark’s family. But he says he can’t send them because he doesn’t know their mailing addresses. He intends to leave the letters to his attorneys, so they can be passed along after his death.

    And Baer waits. He waits for the resolution of the appeals process *— or for the day when he decides to give up and accept his fate.

    “You try to forget the past. But you can’t,” Baer says. “You’re stuck in the present, and thinking about the future ... whatever future you have left.”

    http://heraldbulletin.com/local/x621...deserve-to-die

  10. #10
    Daisy
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    as horrific as this crime was, I for one do not believe in the death penalty, for any crime.....the punishment should be life witout parole. Taking his life will not bring back the lives of those he murdered.

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