Police shooting suspect pleads guilty, faces 70 years in prison - KOTA Territory News

Police shooting suspect pleads guilty, faces 70 years in prison


A Gillette man involved in a dangerous shoot out with police has admitted his guilt - striking a deal with prosecutors.
Almost a year ago, James Baker, 41, led police on a high speed chase on interstate 90 that ended in Rapid City with him opening fire on three officers. No one was killed, but Baker was shot in the arm.

Baker previously faced 224 years in prison for attempted murder and assault charges.

In exchange for a guilty plea to three counts of aggravated assault and one count of using a firearm in the commission of a felony, he accepted a plea deal with prosecutors who have agreed to ask for a sentence of 70 years.

Baker also admitted to the judge that he was attempting to commit "suicide by cop" when the shoot out occurred.

Trooper Ryan Ryback, one of the officers involved in the shootout, as well as Baker's wife and mother were in attendance as he pleaded guilty Friday.

Defense attorney Tim Rensch says he will present the judge with evidence of Baker's good behavior during his time already served in jail when he's sentenced on January 4th.

"I hope to talk about his remorse and hope to put him in a situation where there's
a light at the end of the tunnel. Meth is bad stuff. We're just glad no one died, and we're especially glad my client's family can visit him through the glass rather than through the ground," said Rensch.

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