The case against a Roanoke couple will be heard by a LaRue County grand jury.
LaRue District Judge C. Derek Reed found probable cause Sept. 14 to send several, but not all charges, against Michael Allen Baker and Paula Jean Baker, both 38, to the grand jury.
The Bakers, who live on Dan Dunn Road, were originally charged with first-degree burglary; theft by unlawful taking or disposition - building $10,000 or more; buy or possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of marijuana; receiving stolen property - firearm; and receiving stolen property under $10,000. Michael Allen Baker was charged also with possession of firearm by a convicted felon.
Deputy Matt Darst testified in the preliminary hearing that he went to the Baker’s residence on Aug. 26 on a complaint of illegal burning and gunfire. During a search, he found items connected to a July burglary of a Hodgenville business.
Through a previous contact with the family, he was aware of Michael Baker’s status as a convicted felon who was not allowed possession of firearms, he said.
Darst said he was granted permission to search the residence and found a Mossberg 12 gauge shotgun and Marlin Golden 93 .22 rifle in the master bedroom of the residence. He said he found also four marijuana pipes with residue in them. (Editor’s note: A previous story stated incorrectly that marijuana plants were found.)
Darst then entered a padlocked outbuilding and found 35 copper coated grounding rods, several rolls of wire and several empty spools that once held copper wire. Outside, he found burn piles and evidence that wiring had been burned in them.
The grounding rods bore shipping labels indicating they belonged to Track Shacks, a Hodgenville business.
Hodgenville City Police Chief Steve Johnson testified that the guns and wiring matched the description of the items taken.
Darst said the Bakers denied knowledge of the burglary and stated that a pair of juveniles had brought the items to their home. One of the juveniles allegedly paid the Bakers $200 monthly for storage in the outbuilding.
Darst said the couple did not tell him until after he had broken the padlock on the outbuilding that someone else had stored items inside.
Darst and Johnson said they have been unable to reach or interview the juveniles named by the Bakers.
No defense witnesses were called by the Baker’s public defender, Landon Tingle.
Reed found there was not enough evidence to send the burglary charge to the grand jury but the other charges were passed to the higher court.
He approved a bond reduction for Michael Baker to $9,500 cash and allowed a bail credit for days served on condition that he have no contact with the alleged victims.
Paula Baker was released on an unsecured bond on Aug. 27.
If you have information about the stolen property or firearms, call the LaRue County Sheriff’s Office at 358-3120 or Hodgenville City Police at 358-3013.