lady justice

A 35-year-old man who was charged in 2014 with killing his grandmother in Laguna Niguel pleaded guilty Thursday to solicitation of murder of a witness and being an accessory after the fact and was immediately sentenced to six years and eight months in state prison

Michael Wesley Baker was arrested in Santa Clara County in September 2014 and charged with murder and three counts of solicitation to commit murder.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Troy Pino, the prosecutor on the case, referred questions to his office’s media representatives, who did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Baker was accused by prosecutors in 2014 of killing his 82-year-old grandmother, Sara Mowrey, in her Laguna Niguel home about 9 p.m., Jan. 13, 2009.

A motive for the killing was not released then.

On the morning of Jan. 14, 2009, Baker was accused of trying to dump the body in a trash bin of an apartment complex when he was confronted by an acquaintance, prosecutors alleged. The witness never reported it to authorities.

Mowrey’s son, William Warren Baker, reported his mother missing, touching off a massive search in Orange County, but authorities never found the body.

William Baker’s report to authorities touched off an investigation of him that led to his conviction in a Ponzi scheme and for cashing in his missing mother’s Social Security checks. William Baker pleaded guilty in May 2011 to stealing about $922,000 from at least 10 victims of the Ponzi scheme and was sentenced to 10 years behind bars.

Michael Baker, behind bars on unrelated charges last year, allegedly solicited several people, including undercover Orange County sheriff’s deputies, to kill the acquaintance who saw him allegedly trying to dump the body, prosecutors alleged in 2014.

–City News Service

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