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Jury convicts man of shooting, robbing off-duty sheriff's major outside Cattlemen's

Christopher T. Baker, 30, of Oklahoma City, faces life in prison for gunning down John Waldenville as he carried $6,000 bank deposit for restaurant.
by Tim Willert Modified: December 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm •  Published: December 7, 2012

In one of the conversations, Baker is overheard saying he “had to make some moves” and if given a second chance “woulda did what I did.”

A witness told the jury Baker asked him for change to buy a cheap cigar on the day before the shooting. The same witness said Baker was carrying several $100s and gave him $20 for gas and $20 to drive him around a day after the shooting.

Perhaps the most damning testimony came from a man serving prison time for paralyzing police officer Chad Peery.

Joshua Rinken testified that during jailhouse conversations Baker admitted to the shooting. During one conversation, Baker recounted running up behind Waldenville and trying to grab bank bags from the lawman, who appeared to reach for his gun, Rinken said.

“I had to shoot him … if I didn't, I would be a memory today,” Rinken said Baker told him.

Defense attorney Craig Hoehns argued Baker was innocent because he wasn't there the night Waldenville was shot and robbed of two bank bags.

“This man is not guilty because he didn't do it,” Hoehns said in his closing argument.

“They got the wrong guy.”

Hoehns told the jury that co-defendant Keonta Stephan Terrell Prince and another man shot and robbed Waldenville.

Prince, he said, turned in Baker because Baker knew about the robbery and stole money from Prince.

Prince, 19, a former Cattlemen's dishwasher, had testified against Baker at Baker's preliminary hearing. He had a deal with prosecutors to testify at Baker's trial but refused to take the stand.

Prosecutors instead read a transcript of Prince's prior testimony to jurors. In it, Prince said he and Baker planned to rob Waldenville, but it was Baker who shot and robbed the lawman when he turned and appeared to be reaching for his gun.

“He backed up on us, and it is our intention to try him next,” Rowland said of Prince.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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