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Nemacolin man allegedly told boy his stepmom 'is going to disappear'

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Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2009
 

A Greene County man charged in the slashing death of his estranged wife allegedly told his 12-year-old son 17 days before the killing that the woman "is going to disappear," according to court documents.

Scott J. Baker, 37, of 218 Hilltop Court, Nemacolin, is accused of killing Melissa Ann Spudich Baker, 30, of Crucible, Cumberland Township, by slashing her neck at her home Nov. 20.

Baker is being held in the Greene County Jail without bond pending a preliminary hearing Thursday before Waynesburg District Judge Louis M. Dayich. Melissa Baker had worked as a guard at the county prison.

In addition to the homicide charge, Baker is accused of solicitation to commit homicide, intimidation of witnesses and tampering with evidence. Police allege Baker attempted to have his son set up the woman to be killed and then tried to coerce the boy into hiding evidence. The victim was the boy's stepmother.

District Attorney Marjorie J. Fox would not say if she will seek the death penalty.

Melissa Baker was a 1997 graduate of Laurel Highlands High School and a 2006 graduate of California University of Pennsylvania where she earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. She was a Marine Corps veteran.

Police allege Baker attempted to cover up his wife's murder by taking her keys, a ring and credit cards.

Neighbors reported seeing Baker's truck at the victim's house several times on the day of the killing, police said.

Authorities said they had been called to the Crucible Road home several times in the past during domestic disputes. Melissa Baker received a protection from abuse order against her husband that was recently dropped, police said.

Following Scott Baker's arrest Nov. 21, police interviewed his son numerous times. He told police that on the day of her death, his stepmother let him, his 18-month-old half-brother and Scott Baker into the home. While he was in the bathroom, he heard his stepmother scream, according to court documents.

"He then heard his father call for him to come get the baby. When (the boy) came into the living room, he saw Melissa (Baker) on the floor and Scott was on top of her," the court records indicate.

The boy told police they left the house, then returned a short time later. He and his brother stayed in the vehicle while his father went back into the house, police said.

Police said Baker drove home and shredded credit cards and paperwork he had taken from the house, placed them in a bag and drove to the Giant Eagle in Rice's Landing where he told his son to dispose of the bag. Police recovered the items from a store trash can.

The boy told police his father said the victim was "going to disappear" about Nov. 3.

Police said that on Nov. 14, the boy was staying at his stepmother's house and his father told him that if no one else was going to be at the home that day, "it was going to happen." The boy said he was instructed by his father to send him a text message if someone else was coming that day.

However, when his father showed up the next day and nothing had happened, his father explained, "it took Melissa too long to answer the door," according to court documents.

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