WEST CHESTER, Pa. (YC) – Barry Robert Baker Jr. asked the judge for leniency after pleading guilty for throwing a “sucker punch” at a disabled man outside of a 7-Eleven in West Chester.
Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge William P. Mahon took his request lightly, sentencing Baker to 3-6 years in state prison.
Baker made national headlines for the assault and his subsequent flight from authorities who were searching for after warrants were issued for his arrest.
The judge noted that he found Baker not only to be a threat to the community, but to be a liar who showed contempt for the court through his dishonesty.
“I want this behind me,” Baker told Judge William P. Mahon at a 2 1/2-hour sentencing proceeding at which an extended version of the now-infamous videotape of Baker’s roundhouse blow was aired.
The judge gave him credit only for not making the prosecution prove the charges against him at trial by pleading guilty.
“I’ve been on the bench for 18 years, and I’ve never had someone misrepresent to me, and be caught doing it, as you,” Mahon told Baker, who had pleaded guilty in September to charges of simple assault and flight to avoid apprehension. “You have extreme difficulty with the truth.”
“You are a bully,” Mahon continued. “You are a predator. You are a coward. In 18 years on the bench I have never had such tangible evidence of someone’s moral compass being so askew.”
Thomas Purl, Baker’s defense attorney, requested that Mahon consider handing down a sentence that would keep his client in Chester County Prison, where he had been held since his arrest in June after a regional manhunt involving local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.