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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010

    IL - Mike Mahon, 60, & Debra Tish, 53, murdered, Loogootee, 4 Aug 2010

    Sixteen-year-old Clifford Baker is charged as an adult in the shooting deaths that occurred last August and is expected to stand trial in May. Prosecutors say he confessed to carrying out the killings after using marijuana and prescription medication.

    Baker’s lawyer says he’s exploring whether an antidepressant caused the teen to act erratically.

    The killings occurred about a week after Baker was released from a hospital, where he was taken after shooting himself in the torso - the same day his dog’s bullet-riddled and bound carcass was found on railroad tracks.


    ************************************************** ****

    Earlier article below tells more about the crime and victims

    The victims were John M. Mahon, 60, and Debra J. Tish, 53.

    State's Attorney Stephen Friedel said in court Thursday that the two were shot with rifles they apparently owned. Friedel said each was shot four times. Tish suffered gunshot wounds from both rifles, and Mahon had been shot with one of them, Friedel said.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    At a pretrial hearing, an Illinois State Police investigator claimed that Baker, one of only two teenagers in town, admitted carrying out the killings while in a haze of marijuana and prescription pills. As the officer testified, Baker sat with his head bowed, at times sobbing.

    A judge now is weighing a request by Baker's attorney, Monroe McWard, to have the teen's videotaped confession tossed out on claims that Baker didn't have the mental wherewithal to voluntarily give it. And McWard is exploring whether the teen's behavior, after he wounded himself with the rifle, became erratic when he was prescribed an antidepressant while undergoing psychiatric tests at one of two hospitals in the buildup to the deadly shootings.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Baker's attorneys had claimed that a psychiatrist's recent report concluded that, as a result of mental illness or defect, Baker lacked the mental capacity to recognize any criminality of the alleged Aug. 4 shootings of John Mahon and Debra Tish.

    Stephen Friedel, the county's state's attorney, countered that while the report stated Baker has a mental illness, it was not the cause of his criminal behavior. The combination of Baker's use of an antidepressant and Baker's mental capacity was more significant, Friedel said.

    "The actions are not the result of mental illness, they're the result of the fact he can't handle drugs very well," Friedel said.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Defense attorneys appealed to Judge Michael McHaney to reconsider last week’s ruling after an adolescent psychiatrist’s recent report concluded that, as a result of mental illness or defect, 16-year-old Clifford Baker lacked the mental capacity to recognize the criminal behavior that occurred Aug. 4 in the shooting deaths of John Mahon and Debra Tish. Baker was 15 at the time of the slayings, but is being tried as an adult.

    While McHaney noted the defense had time to issue an insanity plea earlier but chose not to, attorney Mark Wykoff said the new information was not available until the final report was issued earlier this week and was not included in the psychiatrist’s preliminary report in April.

    Wykoff added he objected to the ruling, calling it “premature and speculative,” and said the defense had no intention to raise the issue of insanity at last week’s hearing, but that was before the attorneys were made aware of the final opinion.

    State’s Attorney Stephen Friedel objected to the request and referenced another opinion in the final report, which was sealed during the hearing.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2008

    Jury selection was expected to begin Monday in Fayette County in the first-degree murder trial of 16-year-old Clifford Baker. Baker is accused in the August 2010 shooting deaths of John Mahon and Debra Tish. The two were killed at their home in Loogootee, a community about 80 miles east of St. Louis. Baker was 15 at the time of the killings but is being tried as an adult.

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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    A jury deliberated less than three hours Tuesday before finding 16-year-old Clifford W. Baker guilty of the murders of two of his neighbors last year in the small Fayette County community of Loogootee.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Baker Sentenced to 85 Years for Fayette County Murders, Home Invasions


    Baker was sentenced to natural life in prison without possibility of parole.

    The US Supreme Court later ruled that life without possibility of parole for those under age 18 is unconstitutional, and declared that ruling was retroactive, meaning Baker's sentence was thrown out. His convictions remained in place, though, so Baker has remained in prison while awaiting the resentencing.

    The judge sentenced Baker to 37-1/2 years in prison on each of the murder counts, and those sentences will run one after the other. Baker was also sentenced to 10 years in prison on each of the home invasion counts and those will run concurrently, but will follow the two murder terms. The home invasion sentences do qualify for day-for-day good time, but the murder counts do not, meaning Baker will have to serve both of the full murder terms.

    State's Attorney Joshua Morrison asked Judge Allan Lolie to institute a life sentence, a term that the Supreme Court established could be imposed at the trial court's discretion after review.

    Lolie opted for a sentence that works out to 80 years in prison, saying it was effectively a life sentence.

    "Hopefully it brings closure to the family. That's what it comes down to," said Morrison.

    That's a hope for Melissa Mahon, Mike Mahon's daughter.

    "Glad this can hopefully, finally, give us a chance to heal," she said.

    She is concerned about the 30-day window during which Baker could appeal the decision, which would bring them back to the courthouse and the memories of the murder.

    "We shouldn't have to go through this," she said.
    "Our family understood that the term would be in matters of years, rather than simply life term. We also understood that it could also offer parole as an option so we were prepared for anything. Needless to say when it was all said and done today, we were ecstatic at the result," LaTisha Paslay, Tish's niece, said in an email to the Effingham Daily News.

    The result means "no other family has to go through the nightmare we have endured for coming up on seven years," she wrote.

    Melissa Mahon said she hoped it would give her family a chance to heal. But Paslay put it differently.

    "There will never be 'peace' for our family. It has been 2,435 days since Clifford Baker murdered Deb and Mike. We feel that loss every second of each and every day. We understand the judicial process has steps that are required and although it is tough every time you attend a hearing, we are the voices for Deb and Mike and we will always be there to be sure their lives are remembered," she wrote.

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