MANISTIQUE - Following a lengthy history of criminal convictions, a Manistique man received a 20-year prison sentence for severely beating up his friend last summer in Manistique.
Gordon Daniel Baker II, 36, of 1509N W. Kendall Road, Manistique, was sentenced as an habitual offender on three felonies in Schoolcraft County Circuit Court Thursday. He was facing nine charges involving separate incidents.
On Aug. 28, Baker beat up Manistique resident Michael Chapek at a residence on Range Street in Manistique, according to Manistique Public Safety, the investigating agency.
Baker was sentenced Thursday to assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder in connection with the beating. Judge William Carmody ordered him to spend 10 to 20 years in prison with credit for 72 days served in the county jail.
Baker told the court, he and his friend were drinking that night. He was also under the influence of marijuana, he admitted. Baker said he did not break into his friend's house. After their fight, Baker notified someone that he had killed Chapek, he said.
Schoolcraft County Prosecutor Tim Noble said Baker kicked and stomped on the victim repeatedly, leaving shoe prints on the victim's head and breaking several ribs. Because of the injuries, Chapek could not remember what happened, added Noble.
The prosecutor said Baker has a felony record that goes back 20 years, including drunk driving and drug convictions, showing he is not capable of complying with society.
"This is a defendant who has no care... for the health and well-being of others," said Noble, adding the only way to protect Schoolcraft County and the rest of society is to place Baker in prison.
Prior to sentencing Baker, Judge Carmody reminded the defendant of his lengthy criminal history.
"It's time to realize your behavior is unacceptable," said Carmody. "By the grace of God, the victim is still alive."
Reviewing Baker's past record, Carmody noted he "no doubt" has a substance abuse problem. Carmody said he would like to think Baker will be rehabilitated in prison.
"I hope and pray that you use your time in prison to improve yourself," the judge said.
Charges dismissed by the court included a life felony of assault with intent to murder and a 20-year felony of first-degree home invasion.
In a separate case investigated by the Michigan State Police detachment from Manistique, Carmody sentenced Baker to 10-20 years in prison on one count of second-degree home invasion. The incident occurred sometime during Aug. 18-30 at a residence on Lasich Road in Manistique Township.
Baker was also sentenced to 10-20 years in prison on one count of breaking and entering a building with intent for breaking into a garage on River Road in Manistique Township sometime during Aug. 18-30.
He was given credit for the 72 days served in jail and ordered to pay fines and costs.
Charges dismissed in this court file included: two counts of larceny from a building involving a generator stolen from a camp and a drill stolen from a garage; one count of malicious destruction of personal property involving damage to a Manistique Township sign; and malicious destruction of tombs and memorials.
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Jenny Lancour, (906) 786-2021, ext. 143, email@example.com