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Waynesboro man found guilty
 in Hamiltonban robbery

Susan Prasse

(12/10/14) After deliberating for more than three hours in Adams County Court, Jeremie Baker, 35, of Waynesboro stood before Adams County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Michael George when the 12-member jury unanimously found Baker guilty of all charges on December 9. He was found guilty of burglary, robbery and theft by unlawful taking, threat immediate serious injury, overnight accommodation, person present, and conspiracy.

According to testimony, on May 21 a Hamiltonban Township couple awoke at 1am to see flashlights shining in a nearby room. When trying to defend themselves with a chair, Baker and an unidentified suspect yelled at the couple "to get on the floor or they would be killed." Upon trying to look at the suspects, the male victim was struck in the back of his head with a large, metal flashlight, causing profuse bleeding.

The male victim said that the suspects kept asking for the "big money" that was normally kept in their bedroom. After rummaging through the room for cash, the unidentified suspect grabbed the male victim, forced him at gunpoint to go downstairs, to the kitchen to look for money. During that time, Baker told the female victim if she did not remain on the floor, she would get hurt. Baker was later identified by the female victim as someone who had done odd jobs for her and her husband. During testimony, the male victim said that the other unidentified suspect threatened to kill him when he could not locate the money in the kitchen.

The male victim was forcibly taken back upstairs to the adjacent bedroom and told to lie on the ground. The unidentified suspect then searched for and found a bank deposit bag of cash. According to testimony, after taking the money, the unidentified suspect threatened the couple "to stay on the floor and not to follow them or they would be shot."

Prosecuting the case was Adams County First Assistant Brian Sinnett. He said that Baker was no stranger to his victims. In December 2013, he and his brother Jeffrey began doing landscaping and household work for them at the two motels and gas station the couple owned. Although never reported, the victims said almost $5000 went missing over a period of weeks in April. Then came May 21. "Our home is no longer a home," said the male victim.

The couple’s home was isolated and located behind their place of business in Hamiltonban Township. Pennsylvania State Troopers Chad Lash and Jeffrey Sweeney, who investigated the case said that the house was indeed difficult to see from the road. Sinnett argued that only someone who knew they kept cash in their home would pursue a place as secluded as theirs. "They knew Jeremie Baker." "This was an inside job, not random," said Sinnett.

Witness testimony on behalf of Baker was sketchy and did not convince the jury of a supposed alibi for Baker. He was represented by public defender Warren Bladen Jr. He did not testify on his own behalf. Baker could face up to 67 years in prison and $90,000 in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for February 17.

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