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Pizza man’s murder trial delayed until October

Robert “Al” Baker’s trial will be delayed after all.

The 63-year-old pizza man turned accused murderer was set to go to trial Aug. 13. His attorney, Tom Pacher of Coupeville, asked the judge for a continuance last week — citing health problems and toll of litigating another murder trial — but was denied.

This week, however, the prosecution and defense were united in a request to delay trial.

Senior Deputy Prosecutor Eric Ohme said an expert witness wasn’t available to testify this month.

Judge Alan Hancock agreed. Trial was reset for Oct. 1.

This was the fifth time the trial was continued since Baker was arrested last summer.

Baker, who’s being held in the county jail, appeared at the brief hearing Monday.

Baker and wife, Kathie, owned Harbor Pizzeria in Freeland.

They met at a scientific research station in Antarctica, where they both had worked for Raytheon Corporation.

Kathie Baker was last seen alive June 2, 2012. Deputies with the Island County Sheriff’s Office started investigating her disappearance after Kathie’s boss at Raytheon Corporation in Denver reported that he couldn’t get hold of her.

After finding bloody drag marks in the house and getting contradictory stories from Baker about his wife’s whereabouts, detectives obtained a search warrant for the home, according to court documents.

Investigators found Kathie’s tarp-wrapped body in a ravine behind their home. Her cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head and ligature strangulation, according to the county coroner.

Investigators found a ball-peen hammer with hair stuck to it in a garbage can in the garage, court documents indicate.

A detective’s report on the case indicates that the motive for the alleged murder may have been another woman. Baker’s alleged mistress was staying with him at his Greenbank home soon after Kathie was murdered, court documents state.

Baker was arrested June 9, 2012.

 

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