|DA: PSU DT Baker gets 2 years probation after guilty pleas|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 16 May 2008 12:29|
Baker pleaded guilty Friday to simple assault and criminal trespass, both misdemeanors, in connection with a fight at an off-campus apartment in April 2007 in which authorities said two people were hurt, according to Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira.
Baker, 21, of Windsor, Conn., also pleaded guilty Friday to misdemeanor simple assault for a fight at the campus student union last October, Madeira said. One man was hurt in that encounter.
Besides probation, Madeira said Baker must pay about $2,500 in restitution covering both cases. All other charges, including felony counts in both cases, were dismissed.
The trial for the off-campus fight case was scheduled to start in early June, but Madeira said the sides came to agreement Friday. in part because they were able to resolve both cases at once.
``The commonwealth is happy with the resolution, as are all the victims,'' Madeira said. ``The reason for that is Mr. Baker has accepted responsibility. There is vindication for the victims who have been saying all along this is what Mr. Baker did, but have really been getting a hard time about it.''
Baker's attorney, Tony DeBoef, did not immediately return a message seeking comment.
Baker had been suspended from the team. However, coach Joe Paterno recently allowed Baker to start working out again.
His potential return this fall would be a boost to a defensive line stocked with talent. Baker had 37 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 12 games last season.
He is the last of two players charged in the April 2007 fight to have his case resolved. Safety Anthony Scirrotto was sentenced to one year of probation after accepting a plea deal in February to a reduced charge of misdemeanor defiant trespass.
Baker had been cleared by a university judicial affairs panel of wrongdoing in the October fight. Two other suspended Nittany Lions - linebacker Navorro Bowman and defensive tackle Phil Taylor - have been charged by police for taking part in that fight and are awaiting trial.
Madeira said Baker's plea had no bearing on the cases of Bowman and Taylor.