The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

February 25, 2013

Gunman draws prison term in pizza deliveryman robbery

By Jeff Lehr

JOPLIN, Mo. — A Jasper County judge on Monday assessed a 20-year-old Joplin man 10 years in prison on a conviction for robbing a pizza deliveryman.

Caleb S. Baker pleaded guilty Dec. 10 in Jasper County Circuit Court to first-degree robbery in a plea deal dismissing a second count of armed criminal action and limiting the prison time he might face to no more than 10 years.

Circuit Judge David Dally assessed Baker at his sentencing hearing Monday to that length of term in the Institutional Treatment Center of the Missouri Department of Corrections.

Baker is one of three defendants convicted of robbing a Domino’s Pizza deliveryman on July 29 in the 1800 block of South Pearl Avenue. A probable-cause affidavit states that Baker was armed with a handgun, which he pointed at the face of the deliveryman before he and his two accomplices made off with six pizzas and about $30 in cash.

Co-defendant Shawn Simmons, 29, pleaded guilty in December to a reduced charge of second-degree robbery and was assessed a suspended term and five years on probation. Keith D. Walton Jr., 31, entered an Alford plea to a reduced count of second-degree robbery and will be sentenced Friday. An Alford plea admits no guilt but acknowledges the likelihood of a conviction if the matter were to proceed to trial.

Baker’s accomplices told police that the robbery was a “spur-of-the-moment” crime, with Walton saying he was so hungry that he just went along with the others.

Prior convictions

BESIDES BEING THE ONE who brandished the gun in the robbery of a pizza deliveryman, Caleb Baker had previous felony convictions for property damage and tampering with a motor vehicle, according to court records.