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Cornelius Ozell Baker - Florida
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Thread: Cornelius Ozell Baker - Florida

  1. #1
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    Cornelius Ozell Baker - Florida


    Elizabeth Uptagrafft, 56




    Summary of Offense:

    Baker pistol-whipped Elizabeth Uptagrafft, 56, as he burst into her Michigan Avenue home on January 7, 2007. When Baker struck her, the gun fired, its bullet burning a bloody gash along Uptagrafft's head. Baker also beat and choked Uptagrafft's elderly mother, Charlene Burns, who was on oxygen, and then pistol-whipped and beat Uptagrafft's son, Joel Uptagrafft, then 40. After stealing jewelry and an ATM card, Baker eventually drove Uptagrafft in her car to some brush in remote western Flagler County where he shot her twice.

    Baker was sentenced to death in Flagler County on March 4, 2009.

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    March 5, 2009

    Judge: Death for murder, kidnapping

    Cornelius Baker appeared to show no reaction Wednesday as he was sentenced to die for killing a Daytona Beach grandmother after kidnapping her during a home-invasion robbery.

    Baker, 22, pistol-whipped Elizabeth Uptagrafft, 56, as he burst into her Michigan Avenue home on Jan. 7, 2007. When Baker struck her, the gun fired, its bullet burning a bloody gash along Uptagrafft's head.

    Baker also beat and choked Uptagrafft's elderly mother, Charlene Burns, who was on oxygen, and then pistol-whipped and beat Uptagrafft's son, Joel Uptagrafft, then 40. After stealing jewelry and an ATM card, Baker eventually drove Uptagrafft in her car to some brush in remote western Flagler County where he shot her twice.

    In sentencing Baker to death, Circuit Judge Kim C. Hammond said he gave "great weight" to the crime's "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel" nature.

    "In this case, Elizabeth Uptagrafft was subjected to hours of absolute hell," Hammond said. "One cannot begin to imagine what physical and emotional anguish she experienced from when she was first pistol-whipped, watched her family brutalized and held at gunpoint, was then kidnapped, driven around for hours, released to run for her life, only to be chased down and shot between the eyes."

    Some of Uptagrafft's family members wept during the sentencing. The 74-year-old Burns, oxygen tubes running from a small canister to her nose, said afterward that she was pleased.

    "I think that it's just deserts," Burns said. "And he won't ever be out on the street again to do this terrible thing to anybody else, and I'm very happy."

    Burns now lives with another daughter, Brenda Gillespie, 56, of Holly Hill.

    "I didn't put Cornelius Baker in this justice system," Gillespie said after the sentencing. "He made that choice himself. And, so right now, other than deep sympathy and offering prayers out to his family, all I can do right now is try to think of my sister and say: 'Sis, we're halfway there. Justice is coming.' "

    The other half is the case against Baker's then-girlfriend, Patricia Roosa, 21, who could face the death penalty if convicted of first-degree felony murder in Uptagrafft's slaying. Authorities said Roosa helped Baker with the robbery and kidnapping of Uptagrafft. Roosa remained in the car when Baker chased and shot Uptagrafft, authorities said. No trial date has been set for Roosa.

    Baker was convicted Aug. 25 and on Aug. 28 the same jury recommended 9-3 that he be sentenced to death. The Florida Supreme Court will automatically review the death sentence. Hammond also sentenced Baker to life in prison for home invasion robbery with a firearm and another life term for kidnapping. He also gave Baker 15 years for aggravated fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer. The sentences will run consecutively.

    Baker's mother, Jessica Smith of Bunnell, held back tears as she left the courtroom and declined comment.

    Hammond noted Baker's troubled upbringing, including his mother abusing alcohol and drugs while she was pregnant. Baker failed kindergarten and first grade and was placed in a special education class in second grade, Hammond read from his sentencing order. Baker's mother failed to get her son quick medical attention after an eye injury, costing her son his eye. Later, kids picked on him because of the loss of sight, according to testimony.

    Hammond pointed out that Baker had used marijuana almost daily since age 12 and was addicted to alcohol by 16.

    Elizabeth Uptagrafft's daughter, Stacey Firestone, 36, of Gaston, Ala., said she was glad Baker would never be able to hurt another family again. Baker will soon be housed alone in a death row cell, which is 6 x 9 x 9.5 feet high.

    "When you are on death row, it's a solitary situation and that doesn't look too bad to me for what he's done," Firestone said. "Being in a solitary cell, by yourself, is pretty good punishment for a person like him, as far as I'm concerned."

    Another one of Uptagrafft's sons, Brian Uptagrafft, 32, of Palm Coast, commended the Daytona Beach Police Department, the Flagler County Sheriff's Office and the Bunnell Police Department.

    "They did their jobs flawlessly and you know the punishment fits the crime," Brian Uptagrafft said. "There's a place for people like my mother and there's a place for people like him and he's going to that place, just like my mother is in her place."

    http://www.news-journalonline.com/Ne...AD01030509.htm

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    Case Status

    Oral argument held on direct appeal.

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    CORNELIUS O. BAKER vs STATE OF FLORIDA

    Today, the Florida Supreme Court AFFIRMED Baker's convictions and sentences on direct appeal.

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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Baker's petition for a writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.

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    Cornelius O. Baker v. State of Florida and Cornelius O. Baker v. Julie L. Jones, etc.

    In today's Florida Supreme Court opinions, the court reversed the trial court's denial of postconviction relief as to Baker's claim relating to the constitutionality of his penalty phase, vacated his death sentence and remanded for a new penalty phase.
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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    Prosecutors will again seek death against Bunnell man in deadly kidnapping

    By Frank Fernandez
    The Daytona Beach News-Journal

    DAYTONA BEACH — Prosecutors will again seek the death penalty against a Bunnell man who kidnapped, robbed and shot to death a Daytona Beach woman.

    Cornelius O. Baker, 29, gunned down Elizabeth Uptagrafft on Jan. 7, 2007, after abducting her from her living room then driving her in her own car to Flagler County. A jury recommended death for Baker by 9-3 vote in 2009 and Circuit Judge Kim C. Hammond imposed the sentence.

    But the Florida Supreme Court in March vacated the sentence against Baker citing a ruling that jury recommendations for death must be unanimous.

    The 7th Circuit State Attorney’s Office on Thursday released a notice to seek the death penalty against Baker. It is the first case in Volusia and Flagler counties in which prosecutors seek to reimpose a death sentence that was vacated due to the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling in 2016 that a jury’s death penalty recommendation must be unanimous.

    Assistant State Attorney Chris Miller’s notice listed four aggravators which he said supported the death penalty: Uptagrafft was killed while Baker was committing or trying to commit a burglary, robbery or kidnapping; the killing was committed for monetary gain; it was “especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel” and it was committed in a “cold, calculated, and premeditated manner.”

    A hearing for Baker is scheduled for Aug. 17 before Circuit Judge Margaret Hudson at the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center in Bunnell.

    Baker pistol-whipped the 56-year-old Uptagrafft when he and his girlfriend burst into her Michigan Avenue home. When Baker struck her, the gun fired, its bullet burning a bloody gash along Uptagrafft’s head.

    Baker also beat and choked Uptagrafft’s elderly mother, Charlene Burns, who was on oxygen, and then pistol-whipped and beat Uptagrafft’s son, Joel Uptagrafft, then 40. After stealing jewelry and an ATM card, Baker eventually drove Uptagrafft in her car to some brush in remote western Flagler County where he shot her twice.

    Baker’s then-girlfriend, Patricia Roosa, helped him in the robbery and kidnapping but she remained in the car when Baker shot and killed the grandmother. Roosa was sentenced to life in prison.

    Uptagrafft’s family has not been unanimous on their views of trying to send Baker back to death row. Some family members said they will not attend the sentencing hearing and would be OK with allowing Baker to spend the rest of his life in prison. But others want to see Baker returned to death row, that includes Uptagrafft’s granddaughter, Kerri Uptagrafft, 20, of Green Cove Springs.

    She said her father, Brian Scott Uptagrafft, and her uncle Joel Uptagrafft, also want to see Baker returned to death row.

    She said her grandmother would have continued seeking the death penalty against a killer of one of her family.

    “If it was the other way around my grandmother would not have given up on me,” Kerri Uptagrafft said.

    http://www.news-journalonline.com/ne...dly-kidnapping
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
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    Convicted Flagler murderer back in court for death penalty hearing

    By Matt Bruce
    St. Augustine Record

    Convicted killer Cornelius Ozell Baker was back in a Flagler County courtroom Wednesday morning for a status hearing.

    Baker, 31, is in the process of being resentenced after his death sentence from a 2007 murder was overturned last year. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty again for Baker, who sat in court with his new attorney, Junior Barrett of the Office of the Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel. Bakers former attorney, Steve Laurence, withdrew from the case and Barrett took over May 15.

    During Wednesdays hearing, Circuit Judge Margaret Hudson ordered Barrett and Assistant State Attorney Tammy Jacques to submit amended timelines for the case by June 18, along with recommendations for the next status hearing.

    Baker and his girlfriend, Patricia Roosa, who was 19 at the time, broke into the Daytona Beach home of Elizabeth Uptagrafft on Jan. 7, 2007, as part of a plan to steal money. The two beat and held Uptagrafft, her mother and son hostage for four hours before kidnapping Uptagrafft, stealing her car, making her withdraw money from an ATM and driving her to a remote area in western Flagler County. Thats where Baker led her down a dirt road and shot her to death.

    Roosa was sentenced to life without parole. Baker was convicted of first-degree murder, among several other charges, and a jury voted 9-3 to condemn him to death in 2009.

    Bakers death sentence was vacated in March 2017 per a Florida Supreme Court mandate that juries must unanimously recommend death before a judge issues that capital punishment. Hes one of five convicted murderers in Volusia and Flagler who had their death sentences struck down by the Supreme Court ruling.

    http://www.staugustine.com/news/2018...enalty-hearing
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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