Man sentenced to life in prison in robbery, shooting of off-duty Oklahoma County sheriff's deputy

Christopher Travis Baker, 30, was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years after he ambushed Maj. John Waldenville in 2011 as he walked to make bank deposit for an Oklahoma City restaurant. Waldenville was shot in the face and lost his right eye.
by Tim Willert Modified: February 21, 2013 at 8:59 pm •  Published: February 22, 2013

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.”

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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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