Death row inmate appeals sentence to Supreme Court

January 23, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

ANNAPOLIS -- Lawyers for death row prisoner Wesley Eugene Baker have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his appeal, contending last week that his death sentence was illegal because the judge had no authority to hand it down.

Harford County Circuit Judge Cypert O. Whitfill, now retired, had temporarily moved to Baltimore County but had moved back to Harford by the time of Baker's sentencing in 1992, said Stuart Robinson, one of Baker's lawyers. State courts have denied Baker's request for a hearing on the merits of his claim and Maryland's highest court ruled against Baker last year.

Baker was convicted in the fatal shooting of Jane Tyson in 1991 outside Westview Mall in Catonsville.

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