A judge sentenced a man Thursday to life in prison plus 30 years for shooting an off-duty sheriff's deputy carrying a bank deposit for Cattlemen's Steakhouse.
“You are a disgrace to your family,” District Judge Kenneth C. Watson told Christopher Travis Baker, who has prior convictions for burglary and robbery. “You are a disgrace to our race. You are a disgrace to the African-American race.”
Oklahoma County sheriff's Maj. John Waldenville was shot in the face and lost his right eye in the May 21, 2011, attack.
A jury convicted Baker in December of shooting with intent to kill and robbery with a firearm.
Prosecutors said Baker ambushed Waldenville just after midnight, robbing him of $6,000 he was going to deposit for the restaurant, where he worked as a security guard.
Baker, 30, must serve 63 years before being eligible for parole.
“You have forfeited your right to ever be free again,” the judge said.
Baker declined to speak in court. His attorney, Craig Hoehns, said his client continues to maintain his innocence.
Waldenville, 61, was not in court but his three sisters were and read moving statements directed at Baker.
“Your actions and intent were that Major Waldenville, my big brother, would never see his family again,” Nancy Brewer said. “I have watched you during the preliminary hearing and the jury trial and not once did you exhibit any signs of remorse. Your own words stated, ‘You'd do it again.' Thank God you will not be able to put another family through this living nightmare.”
Cathy Waldenville-Newman drove 12 hours from her home in Tennessee to address the man who shot her brother.
“You shot him … from behind, which is a very cowardly act on your part,” she said. “I firmly believe had you encountered him face to face we would not be here today for your sentencing.”
Waldenville's siblings said Thursday they have not seen him since August 2011, and are embroiled in a “messy” guardianship dispute with the deputy's wife.
“Prior to the shooting we were a very close-knit family,” Waldenville-Newman said in her statement.
Prosecutors said justice was “absolutely served” in the case.
“I applaud Judge Watson for imposing the sentence,” First Assistant District Attorney Scott Rowland said.
Co-defendant Stephen Terrell Prince, 19, of Oklahoma City, pleaded guilty in December to one count of shooting with intent to kill and one count of robbery with a firearm.
He will be sentenced next month and could face up to life in prison.
Prince had a deal with prosecutors to testify at Baker's trial but refused to do so and forfeited a 17-year prison sentence.