ALONZO BAKER DIES; SON IS ACCUSED OF MURDER
Charge Filed Against Lester Baker, 47, as
79-Year-Old Father Dies Nine Days After Being
Shot in the Stomach; Claimed Father Struck Him
with Cane During Argument
A charge of murder was filed here today against Lester Baker, 47,
in the death of his 79-year-old father, Alonzo Baker, of near Nason.
The aged Elk Prairie township farmer died at 11:10 o'clock Saturday
night at Jefferson County Memorial Hospital from a gunshot wound in
the stomach which authorities claim was inflicted by his son on August 23.
Lester Baker has been held in the ? jail since the night of the shooting,
which occurred at the Baker farm two miles east of Nason.
Baker and his son had lived together on the farm for years.
HELD FOR GRAND JURY
At an inquest conducted yesterday by Coroner Ben Roeder and States
Attorney Martin J. Dolan, a coroner's jury returned a verdict that
Mr. Baker died as the result of a gunshot wound "inflicted by Lester Baker."
They recommended that Lester Baker "be held for action of the grand jury."
John Julius, Nason tavern operator, testified at the inquest that Lester Baker
and a neighbor came to his tavern after the shooting to have a doctor summoned.
Julius testified that Baker "was pretty bloody" and that he told him he needed
a doctor. Baker, he said, told him he didn't need a doctor for himself, but
"for my dad."
TELLS OF SHOOTING
Julius told the coroner's jury that he told Lester Baker that he had seen
his father and that he was not sick. He testified that Baker answered,
"No, he is not sick. I shot the old bastard."
The witness said that Baker told him, "I shot him in the belly and the
bullet came out his back." He also told Julius, the tavern operator said,
that he set a glass of water on the floor near his father, then went for a
Lester Baker was taken into custody at the tavern by Deputy Sheriff Russel
Dalby. The elder Mr. Baker was brought to Jefferson Memorial Hospital,
where he remained in critical condition until his death nine days later.
A charge of assault with intent to murder was lodged against Lester Baker
the next day. The charge was changed to murder today.
ADMITS FIRING SHOT
The day after the shooting, Lester Baker signed a statement that he fired
the shot which wounded his father.
He said that his father struck him "several times" with a cane during an
argument. Authorities said that Lester Baker suffered a cut on the forehead.
Funeral services for Alonzo Baker were held at 2:00 p. m. today at Elk
Prairie church, with the Rev. J. G. Parsons and the Rev. Grant Hawkins
officiating. Burial was in Abner cemetery.
The services were in charge of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Mr. Baker was born July 16, 1871 in Jefferson county and he was 79 years,
one month and 16 days of age at the time of his death. He was the son of
William and Susan (Blackburn) Baker.
Mr. Baker, a lifetime resident of Jefferson county, was a well known farmer.
He was married to Grace Mendenhall who preceded him in death in 1943.
SPANISH WAR VETERAN
A veteran of the Spanish-American War, he served as a corporal with
Company K of the 9th Illinois Volunteers.
He was a member of the Elk Prairie Christian church.
Surviving are three sons, Harold and Lester of RFD, Ina and Marion of
Denver, Colorado; three daughters, Mrs. Eula Lett of Hitchita, Okla.,
Mrs. Mildred Dare of Mt. Vernon and Mrs. Aline Dawe of Golden, Colorado;
a brother, Joseph Baker of Ina; eight grandchildren and one great grandchild.