A Pikeville man entered an Alford plea in Pike Circuit Court to charges including unlawful transaction with a minor and wanton endangerment but will spend no time in jail in the case unless he commits a further crime.
However, Anthony Baker, 51, of Hambley Boulevard, will be required to live outside the state of Kentucky as a part of the deal reached with Pike Commonwealth’s Attorney Bill Slone’s office.
Baker entered the Alford plea Friday before Pike Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman, who followed Slone’s recommendation that Baker be sentenced to a total of four years, to run concurrently, to be diverted for two years.
An Alford plea means a defendant is not admitting they are guilty of the crimes with which they have been charged, but that prosecutors have enough evidence to convict them of the crime.
Slone told the News-Express in an earlier interview that one charge — a felony unlawful transaction charge — was in relation to activity in which Baker allegedly took part with his teenage son. Slone said that on or about June 6, Baker supplied his son with marijuana. The misdemeanor unlawful transaction charge, Slone said, was related to an incident or incidents on or about May 25 when Baker allegedly provided alcohol to three different juveniles, whose names have been intentionally omitted from this report.
The misdemeanor wanton endangerment charge, Slone said, was related to an incident which also occurred on May 25 at Baker’s residence. Slone said Baker hosted a party and juveniles were present when a disturbance broke out.
“He had a big party at his residence and it ended up almost in a riot,” Slone said. “According to the police, there were about 50 people there, including at least one 15-year-old boy.”
Slone said Pikeville Police officers arrived at the scene at approximately 5:30 a.m. after receiving a call of a disturbance and the situation escalated from there with some people present at the party allegedly fighting with police and fleeing from officers.
Slone said the situation escalated so greatly that the Pikeville Police Department’s first shift had to be called in to work early to assist.
During Friday’s hearing, Slone told the court that his office recommended that Baker be sentenced to two years on the felony charge and one year each on the misdemeanor charges, all to run concurrently, and all diverted for two years on condition that Baker reside outside Kentucky.
Baker’s attorney, Athanasia Lewis, told the court Friday that Baker will have to have some time selling his property in Pikeville before moving out-of-state.