Cape woman faces five charges in Scott County attack
Friday, October 12, 2012
In an incident described by prosecutors as an inheritance dispute turned violent, a Cape Girardeau woman is facing five criminal charges in Scott County that she assaulted her sister-in-law, threatened her with a knife and stole $400 from her purse.
Beverly M. Baker, 46, was handed one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon in the charges filed Wednesday in Scott County. She also received four misdemeanor charges for third-degree assault, theft, resisting arrest and assaulting a law enforcement officer -- the last two because of an officer's assertion that Baker threw the purse at him through a car window as she ignored his order to stop.
Baker was released from the Scott City Jail on a $1,000 bond, police said. Baker is likely to be in court for arraignment in about two weeks.
A defense attorney had yet to be listed in court documents.
The incident, as described in court filings, reportedly began Tuesday with Baker standing in the lobby of the Scott City Police Department telling two officers that she wanted to confront her sister-in-law for stealing money she had inherited from Baker's brother.
But in a brief interview Thursday night, Baker said the incident occurred on the same day that her brother died. She said she was frustrated, grief-stricken and stressed based on his death and her belief that her sister-in-law had been stealing from money that had been bequeathed to him by their mother.
One of the officers suggested the matter was one for the civil courts and advised Baker to avoid any confrontation with the other woman. Baker says she went to police first because the woman has a criminal record and that she wanted to avoid any problems.
Either way, according to a probable cause statement, she decided to go to her sister-in-law's residence on Angela Drive and police responded about an hour later to an assault report.
One officer says that he came upon Baker driving away from a confrontation with her sister-in-law, noting that she had a swollen bump on her forehead and a small amount of bleeding. The officer was alerted via radio that Baker reportedly had stolen $400 and the purse. He saw Baker tuck a wad of money under her leg, the statements says.
The sister-in-law claimed to have been threatened with a knife; the officer found a knife in Baker's possession. In the interview, Baker said that the other woman had the switch-blade knife and that got it only after kicking it away from her.
According to the court filing, when the officer told Baker she would have to return the money and purse, she shoved the money and a wallet back into the purse and threw it at him through the passenger window.
Baker told the officer she was leaving and ignored his order not to, the statement says. She was detained about six blocks away.
One witness account also led to charges being filed against Baker. The witness told police that Baker initiated the altercation.
Baker was waiting in the driveway for her sister-in-law to return, the witness told police. When she did, Baker approached her car and struck her in the face through an open window.
The witness told police she also saw Baker then snatch the purse, run to her vehicle and speed away.
618 Main St., Scott City, MO
Angela Drive, Scott City, MO