Former police officer on trial for robbing, kidnapping man

Robert Lee Baker

Robert Lee Baker

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — A former Winston-Salem police officer walked into a man’s apartment, pulled out a gun, robbed the man of about $70 in cash and a coin bank, and threatened to kill him if he didn’t go into a bathroom, the victim testified this morning in Forsyth Superior Court, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

Robert Lee Baker, 40, who lives on Thornaby Circle, is on trial on charges of armed robbery, first-degree burglary, second-degree kidnapping, impersonating an officer, carrying a concealed gun and communicating a threat.

Severiano Jimenez Maya testified in Forsyth Superior Court that a man wearing a blue cap, a white T-shirt and beige shorts came into his upstairs apartment Aug. 23, 2103, about 8:30 p.m. The door was open because it was hot that day, Maya said.

The man mentioned the name of someone and asked if that person was in the apartment, Maya said. Maya told him that he did have a roommate named Carlos, and the man identified himself as a police officer and pulled up his shirt to reveal a gun, Maya testified.

The man pulled out the gun and repeatedly asked Maya for money. Maya told him he didn’t have money but the man persisted, forcing Maya to go into his bedroom and retrieve about $70 in cash. Maya said the man continued to demand money and Maya pulled out a container with change and gave that to the man. The man then forced him into the bathroom.

“He told me to go into the bathroom or else he would kill me,” Maya testified.

Maya identified Baker, who was seated by his attorney, Paul James, as the man who came into his apartment and robbed him.

Baker had worked for six years and four months as a police officer, according to city personnel records. He was fired in August 2012 for conduct unbecoming an officer and unsatisfactory performance. His annual salary at the time was $37,883.

In February 2013, Baker pleaded guilty to two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense. He was accused of falsifying hours that he worked off-duty as a security guard at the Housing Authority of Winston-Salem and Development Management Inc., which oversees Northside Shopping Center. Baker was ordered to pay $1,865 in restitution, complete 50 hours of community service and was placed in a deferred prosecution program. He was on supervised probation at the time he was alleged to have robbed and kidnapped Maya.

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