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Case Number: 1:21-cr-00080-JTN
Judge: Janet T. Neff
Court: United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan (Kent County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Grand Rapids, MI: Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with arson.
Kevin Daniel Baker admitted to breaking into Austin Jordan Engines, an automotive repair business located in Wyoming, Michigan, to find items that he could steal and sell to support his drug addiction. To conceal the evidence of his burglary, Mr. Baker set the business on fire and then drove away in a stolen car packed with stolen goods. The next day, Mr. Baker drove the stolen car to a local business and attempted to cash checks that he had stolen from Austin Jordan Engines. A suspicious employee called law enforcement and Mr. Baker was quickly placed under arrest.
Judge Neff commented that Mr. Baker “was extremely lucky no one was injured or killed” because of his arson. The blaze severely damaged Austin Jordan Engines, resulting in over $1.6 million dollars of loss and damages, which Judge Neff ordered Mr. Baker to pay back as a part of his sentence.
“Setting a fire to conceal evidence of another crime is extremely dangerous” commented U.S. Attorney Andrew Birge. “Arson is an inherently violent act that puts many of our community members at risk, including the firefighters who respond to the scene. With today’s sentence, Mr. Baker is held accountable for his actions.”
“Our partnerships with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our State and local counterparts, along with our considerable fire investigative resources, ensures those responsible for violent crimes like arson are apprehended and prosecuted,” said Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Krolczyk.
This case was investigated by the ATF and Wyoming Fire Department and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Erin K. Lane.
18:844(i) PENALTIES - IF DEATH RESULTS; arson
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 60 months imprisonment, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release, fine is waived, restitution: $1,648,415.29 and special assessment: $100.00