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Man indicted in 1989 murder

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Posted: Thursday, October 13, 2011 12:00 pm

By Philip Jankowski

Killeen Daily Herald

BELTON - A grand jury indicted a 44-year-old Temple man Wednesday on a murder charge in connection with a 1989 stabbing death in Belton.

Police arrested Samuel Edward Baker in August for killing 74-year-old Shellie Latham, who was stabbed to death in her home in Belton on Sept. 9, 1989.

Baker had been a person of interest in the original investigation of Latham's death. At the time, police collected a cigarette butt near the back door of Latham's home.

A DNA test of the cigarette butt in 1998 did not give conclusive results. However, Bell County prosecutors said when the butt was retested in 2010, DNA evidence matched Baker.

Assistant District Attorney Murff Bledsoe said advancements in technology allowed lab technicians at the Texas Department of Public Safety to reasonably identify Baker as the source of the DNA evidence in the 2010 test.

Baker has remained in jail since Aug. 11, when police arrested him as he drove through Hays County. He is being held in Bell County Jail on a $127,500 bond for the murder charge and a charge of misdemeanor assault.

According to an arrest affidavit, a woman who lived with Baker in 1995 and 1996 told police Baker spoke of killing a woman in Belton in the late 1980s.

During a Sept. 27 hearing to reduce Baker's bond, prosecutors showed Baker has a history of violence with women.

If convicted, Baker could face up to life in prison. A trial date has not been set.

The grand jury also returned indictments against the following:

Kenneth Graylin Turner, 20, of Temple, on a charge of possession with intent to deliver cocaine, four grams or more.

Shaun Everette McCarthy, 29, of Temple, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, less than one gram.

Joey Lee Connell, 42, of Temple, on a charge of possession of methamphetamine, less than one gram.

Kenneth Dewayne Rector, 20, of Temple, on a charge of possession of cocaine, less than one gram.

Donald Aaron Daniels Jr., 19, of Temple, on a charge of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.

Peter Castillo, 22, of Temple, on a charge of burglary of a habitation.

Aurelio Rivera, 23, of Temple, on a charge of burglary of a habitation.

Mario Alberto Reyna, 29, of Temple, on a charge of burglary of a habitation.

Dorothy Porter, 74, of Temple, on a charge of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger.

Stacy Ann Bennett, 21, of Killeen, on a charge of injury to a child.

Vachel Rae Willeford, 40, of Killeen, on a charge of driving while intoxicated with a child passenger.

Keith Maron Harding II, 28, of Killeen, on a charge of money laundering.

Kenji Jelani Lyntiece Whaley, 30, of Menco Park, Calif., on a charge of money laundering.

Tevin Laquint Patterson, 18, of Killeen, on a charge of evading arrest with a motor vehicle.

Alfred Ray Miears, 50, of Big Spring, on a charge of forgery by passing.

Jeffrey Darrell Taplin-Jones, 19, of Killeen, on a charge of burglary of a habitation.

Ramone Travoris Ortiz, 17, of Killeen, on a charge of burglary of a building.

D'Andre Dion McCoy, 23, of Killeen, on three charges of burglary of a building.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com.

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